Questions and Answers about Scotia-Glenville’s Reopening Plan

Here are some of the questions and answers we have received regarding the reopening plan.

Some of these answers will likely change as the school year approaches and begins. This page will be updated frequently.

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When will school start this year? What time will schools start?

Superintendent Susan Swartz has announced that the start of school for students in grades 1-12 will be delayed until Monday, Sept. 14.

Kindergarten students will have orientation and screening during the week of Sept. 14 by appointment. The first day of school for kindergartners is Monday, Sept. 21.

Staff will attend for four professional days on Sept. 8-11 to prepare for the challenges of the new school year.

School start times as of 9/2020

Glendaal and Glen-Worden

Start Time – 9:00am
End Time – 2:35pm

Sacandaga and Lincoln

Start Time – 9:30am
End Time – 3:05pm

Students – in-person and with virtual learning – will follow the sample class schedules.

High School/Middle School

Buildings will open for student arrival at 7:00 am.

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays – Homeroom will begin at 7:25 a.m.  The periods will be 40 minutes each. The day will end at 2:09 p.m. Students – in-person and with virtual learning – will follow the sample class schedule.

Virtual Wednesdays: The HS and MS day will begin at 10:38 a.m. and end at 2:06 p.m. Periods will be 20 minutes each. No students will be in school on Wednesdays; all learning will be virtual.


HIGH SCHOOL/MIDDLE SCHOOL

  1. Q: ­Why can’t HS students go full time in person?  Many HS students do not take the bus, they drive.  HS students are more likely to wear a mask and keep social distancing. HS students who do not want to go in person can attend by distance learning. ­

A: ­In order to accommodate social distancing regulations, we need to decrease the number of students in the school at any one time. Dividing students in grades 6 – 12 enables us to meet social distancing requirements.

The program being proposed is that only one third of high school/middle school students would come to the building on any given day but the others would connect virtually to their classes. All students would be on virtual education on Wednesdays. Students would be divided into three groups – Crimson, Strong and Tartans – based on their last names. Crimson will be last names of A-g, Strong will be last names of H-O and Tartans will be last names of P-Z. We agree that high school students may be more apt to follow social distancing and mask rules. Please see these sample schedules for more information.

2. Q: ­It is difficult for HS students to learn difficult content like advanced mathematics in the distance format.  Why is the time in person different between grade school and HS.  It is easier for parents to help their children with lower education courses.­

A: As a region we agreed to prioritize the return of elementary aged students. Secondary students are more independent and better able to navigate online learning than elementary students.  In addition, not all parents are able to remain home to support students. ­Our teachers and support staff will work with each student to make sure they are grasping the content, especially of the difficult courses.­ It was felt that elementary students struggled the most with the virtual/online format in the spring.

3. Q: ­How do you plan on choosing who attends in person if only 1/3 will be attending?­

A: Students will be divided into three groups – Crimson, Strong and Tartans – based on the child’s last name. Crimsons will be the A-G students, Strong will be the H-O students and Tartans will be the P-Z. Each group will attend at staggered times over a three week period.  ­Check these sample schedules out for clarification.

4. Q: ­The choice of distance learning is not good enough for preparation for college in 12th grade class­

A: ­Teachers will work with students to ensure they are getting the material they need to prepare for college. Professional learning opportunities for teachers have been planned to increase engagement and rigor of distance learning classes.

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5. Q: ­Kids transitioning to MS from elementary are in a challenging position prior to COVID. How are they able to help make such a transition if remote? especially kiddos with IEPs. The 1:1 is not only required but essential.­

A­: We are paying special attention to our students who have IEPs and face other challenges. The transition will be supported by the classroom teachers and guidance counselors and through continued communication with students and their parents.

6. Q: ­Is 6th grade considered Elementary?­

A: ­No, 6th grade is grouped with MS and HS­

7. Q: ­How will you do gym? ­

A­: Students will be taken outside where and when possible for exercise in a socially distanced way. Teachers will also discuss health and physical issues with students and perhaps show videos during their time with the students.

8. Q: ­How will bathroom visits be handled?­

A:The health and safety advisory team is currently working on a protocol to address bathroom visits and cleaning. ­

9. Q: With lunch, how will you handle lunch with someone for food allergies?­

A­: The food service, if made aware of a child’s allergies, will be able to prepare meals just as they have in the past. The only difference is that the students will not eat in a cafeteria, but in their classrooms (at the elementary level). At the MS/HS levels, they will be eating together, socially distanced, in either the gym (MS) or cafeteria (HS).

10. Q: ­Will the water fountains be turned off?­

A­: Students will be encouraged to bring their own water bottles to school. Stat education law requires one water fountain per 100 students.  The filling stations (for water bottles) will continue to be utilized while the public water fountains will be closed off. The Health and Safety team is reviewing that topic and will make a decision before school begins.

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11. Q: ­Secondary students will be “going to school” six days a week?­

A: Secondary students will rotate between in-person and virtual instruction Monday-Friday based on their last names as indicated above – Crimson, Strong and Tartans. All students will be virtual on Wednesdays. They will not attend school on Saturdays and Sundays.

12. Q: ­How will the children be able to interact with each other so it doesn’t feel like a robotic institution? ­

A­: They will have to follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks. They will be able to use hand signals, wave and talk with each other and do other things that will not bring them any closer than six feet to another person.

13. Q: ­How are the classes and electives that traditionally use the auditorium going to be affected? (Band, Chorus, Theater, etc.)­

A­: Chorus, orchestra and band will be held in the coming school year at the secondary (gr. 6-12) level. Students will be socially distanced in the auditorium for their lessons.

14. Q: ­How will lockers be handled for older students? ­

A­: We are considering the possibility of eliminating locker visits to cut down on hallway congestion. If this is the decision, students will be able to have their backpacks with them.

15. Q: Will MS and HS start time change?­

A­: Yes. Students can not arrive before 7 a.m. Homeroom will begin at 7:25 a.m. and the day will end at 2:09 p.m. There will be 40 minute periods. On Virtual Wednesdays, the days will begin at 10:38 a.m. and conclude at 2:06 p.m. with 20 minute periods.

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16. Q: ­Will Chromebooks be available to those in need again?­

A­: Yes, we will once again make Chromebooks available to families that need them. Before school starts, we will reach out to ask how many will need them. We need to be careful since many of them were not returned from last year; those families will obviously not be able to get a second Chromebook this year if they never returned the one from last year.

17. Q: ­During the secondary 6 day rotation, will students who are home virtually tune in during their regular class period?­

A­: Yes, teachers will continue teaching as they always have. There will not be a 6 day rotation, as was previously thought. All students will attend on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (40 minute periods) on a rotating basis based on their last names. All students will be virtual on Wednesdays (20 minute periods). Teachers will have one third of the number of students sitting in the room with the remaining two thirds online doing virtual. Students will have to tune in at the same time every day, just like they would in school, in order to hear the teacher’s full lesson.

18. Q: ­Will spaces be cleaned in between different students switching to.­

A­: Yes, that is the plan.

19. Q: ­If you have 2 or more children in grades 6-12 will they be placed in the same 1/3 cohort?­

A­: Yes. The program will be based on the child’s last name, so most likely, siblings would attend on the same days.

20. Q: ­Has there been any word about Regents Exams?­

A­: The state has not indicated that the Regents exams will be canceled again in June. Seat time and other Regents requirements are in effect this school year.

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21. Q: ­So will students be bringing their own devices to school?­

A­: Yes, they will be able to do that and connect to the guest network for internet services. No phones will be allowed – those are difficult to use with class lessons.

22. Q: ­How would high schoolers complete labs if they chose virtual learning?­

A: ­We are currently working to develop/collate previously created online virtual labs and creative partner lab experiences between students who are fully virtual and those who are in-person.

23. Q: ­How will the “walkers” be socially distanced before school outside upon their release?­

A­: We would strongly encourage parents to discuss this with their children before the start of school. We know students like to walk to school and back home together. We would expect them to wear masks and keep socially distanced when they are doing so.

24. Q: ­How will fire drills / lock down drills be handled in a socially distanced manner?­

A­: For fire drills, students will be taken outside in waves, so that an entire school is not outside at the same time. The practice for evacuating the building will be a phased one. Lockdown drills will be held in a socially distanced way, as much as possible.

25. Q: ­If a child has an appointment for dentist for example and you have to pick them up, would they be allowed back in the building afterwards?­

A­: That will be handled as in the past. Students would be allowed back into the school building.

26. Q: ­Who is responsible to inform parents of children with special needs what their school will look like? 

A:­ Members of the Pupil Personnel Department will be in touch with the students to inform them of what will eventually happen.

27. Q: ­Will HS students still have their electives available?­

A­: Yes, the plan is that all of the same classes will be offered, depending on the availability of faculty members to teach them. Some of the electives may ONLY be held virtually, if a teacher has not returned to school. We will endeavor to provide all classes typically offered during a regular school year.

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28. Q: ­Will 6-12 grades be stuck in same rooms with teachers rotating, or will the students be going between classes?­

A: ­No, they will move from class to class. There will only be one third of the students there at any time.­

29. Q: ­Will students in grade 6-12 also have staggered start and end times? ­

A­: The plan right now is for all students to be in homeroom by 7:25 a.m. and classes would end at 2:09 p.m. (40 minute periods). On Virtual Wednesdays, the day would begin at 10:38 a.m. and end at 2:06 p.m. (20 minute periods). By reducing the enrollment to one third of the students, it is hoped that the vast majority will be there at the same time depending on busing restrictions.

30. Q: ­Will the teachers be wiping the desks down in between students/ or will students be able to wipe down the desks at entering­.

A: ­Each school will be disinfected once a day.  The protocol for wiping down desks/cleaning areas during the school day is being developed by the Health and Safety advisory team.

31. Q: Will hand sanitizer be available?­

A­: Yes, there will be a supply available in each building.

32. Q: ­How is bathroom cleaning being handled?  Are bathrooms going to be cleaned in between each student uses?­

A­: Bathroom sanitizing will be done on a schedule, not after each use.

33. Q: ­Will there still be Christmas/spring break other days off?­

A: Yes, the state is still requiring a 180 day schedule, similar to the past. The vacations are still scheduled unless the state takes action, like they did last year with the spring break in April.

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34. Q: ­With shorter school days, are we looking at a longer school year?­

A: No, the 180 days must still be completed for each student but the state has removed the hourly requirements for education. It is not anticipated that the school year will be extended.

35. Q: ­I’ve seen guidance that students aren’t allowed to share supplies so will there be updates supply lists so each kid has their own? ­

A: We would ask parents to be sure they provide everything that was on the original supply lists. Teachers may add to the lists on the first day of school.

36. Q: ­Will middle school students be allowed to have their backpacks with them?­

A: Yes because they will not have access to their lockers, at least initially.

37. Q: ­Will MS & HS kids have set time for the “virtual” learning part of it?  Are they going to be held accountable for showing up to class everyday? ­

A: Yes, the requirements will be the same as they are for in-school instruction. Attendance and other items were not required in the spring virtual sessions; they will be for this year.

38. Q: If a child is ahead of their class, will that child be able to be challenged through virtual learning this time around if needed or will they only receive the grade level requirements?

A: That is going to depend on each teacher. It is hoped that, if your child is advanced, he or she was given a challenging schedule that will take advantage of that. For example, if a grade 6 students was already going to be challenged by taking science at the grade 8 level, that will not change.

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39. Q: My sons will be attending the Middle & High schools this coming year.  After discussing the information about what the return to school will look like, here are their questions:

40. Q: Will they be using lockers or carrying backpacks?

A: They will be able to carry backpacks and will not have access to their lockers, at least initially.

41. Q: What options will they have to receive extra help?

A: As in the past, they would need to speak to the teacher about extra help in a subject.

42. Q: How will sports work?

A: It is unclear whether sports will be offered, at least in the fall.

43. Q: On virtual days, will they attend the same class as the students in the room, just virtually?

A: Yes, they will be viewing the same teacher remotely.

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44. Q: I understand that there is a plan being developed in conjunction with BOCES but wondering how it will differ between Elementary (all in person or all virtual) to Middle School (hybrid or all virtual). I have children in both grade levels and we are/have high risk family members.

A: The BOCES plan will be used, if necessary, to fill the gap for virtual instruction. We are hoping to fill the teaching positions with SG teachers, but there could be grades or courses in which that won’t work either because there are not enough students to make a class or the teacher is unavailable. The program offered by CR BOCES will be all virtual.

45. Q: I don’t understand how parents can make informed decisions without that information. My understanding is that you will be expecting us to make a decision next week that we will be expected to stick to through Thanksgiving. But the answers to those questions won’t be available until some point within the next 40 days.

46. Q: How do I make a decision for my rising junior who has worked his whole school career in accelerated classes to form a basis for his college years without knowing whether or not he will be allowed to take honors and AP level classes virtually? Our preference would be for them to be home right now for health and safety reasons, but we could take our sons whole school career with one decision based on faulty information or no information.

A: The expectation is that all students will be taking their regular schedule in the coming school year, AP and honors classes included. The teachers will be teaching just as they always have – students will be in class with them on a rotating basis.

47. Q: If a student chooses virtual learning at the HS how do they get their books/materials for 1st quarter.

A. The textbooks will be distributed the same way we do Chromebooks – essentially a drive up day/time will be designated before the start of school.  More information to follow.

48. Q: Will the 6th graders still be split between levels Onair and Highlander teams? And what about returning students instruments if no orchestra/band is being offered. I am paying monthly for the instrument at a local music shop.

A. The students in grade 6 will still be on two teams, just coming to school at different times. The teaming determines which teachers they have at the same time. So the posted supply lists are still accurate. 

Chorus, orchestra and band will be held in the coming school year at the secondary (gr. 6-12) level. Students will be socially distanced in the auditorium for their lessons.
49. Q: When can we expect guidance on virtual learning? I am not sending my son back into the classroom – I was under the impression virtual learning was an option. Also, how is the PE credit being handled?

A: Of course, virtual learning IS an option – at the secondary level, students will simply follow their student schedule and log in to each period of class throughout the day that the student has.  The student will be watching the teacher as they work with the students in front of them in person as well as the other 2 groups of virtual learners.PE will be meeting in the same fashion and addressing their learning standards in creative ways.

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ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

  1. Q: ­What is going to happen with Kindergarten?­

A: ­Kindergarten will be held as usual. Students will be expected to wear masks and socially distance from each other.­

2. Q: ­If elementary students are home the teachers need to be watching and communicating with the children for the hours schools are open. The kids could have a split screen to also do work. Parents need to work even if from home. I can’t monitor all work.­

A­: The expectation is that students at home will be tuning in during the regular school hours, though they will not see their own teacher. It may be a teacher from another school at Scotia-Glenville or a teacher from another school district,  if we have students attending the CR BOCES virtual school.

3. Q: ­Will first grade be held?­

A: ­Yes, all grades will be held.­

4. Q: ­Are kids k-5 going to school everyday?­

A­: The hope is that most elementary students will attend every day, but there will likely be students who are unable to attend and will learn virtually. The students in school will learn from their teachers for about 2.5 hours  then they will be supervised by another adult and will have their specials, lunch, recess and receive any services like OT/PT or speech.

5. Q: ­How will you do gym? ­

A­: Students will be taken outside where and when possible for exercise in a socially distanced way. Teachers will also discuss health and physical issues with students and perhaps show videos during their time with the students.

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6. Q: ­What are the supervising adults qualifications?­

A­: The adult could be a special area teacher, like an art or music teacher, for part of the time. The adult may also be a teaching assistant or a teacher aide. Students would be working independently during this time.

7. Q: Can elementary do distance learning only?­

A­: All families have the choice of in-person or fully virtual school.

8. Q: ­Can we pick up kids after they are done with the “teacher” portion of the day instead of sitting in the classroom with a supervised adult? ­

A­: While you could technically do that, the specials (art, music, library and physical education) and extra work would be part of that time in the second classroom. Your child will be missing those opportunities if they are removed.

9. Q: ­How will bathroom visits be handled?­

A: ­One student per bathroom at a time when the bathroom is in the classroom.­ Bathroom sanitizing will be done on a schedule, not after each use. Use of larger bathrooms (those serving more than one student at a time) will be determined by partitions, spacing, and potentially using every other sink.  All students and staff will wear a mask when in the restroom.­ Bathroom sanitizing will be done on a schedule, not after each use.

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10. Q: With lunch, how will you handle lunch with someone for food allergies?­

A­: The food service, if made aware of a child’s allergies, will be able to prepare meals just as they have in the past. The only difference is that the students will not eat in a cafeteria, but in their classrooms (at the elementary level). At the MS/HS levels, they will be eating together, socially distanced, in either the gym (MS) or cafeteria (HS).

11. Q: ­Who and how will rooms/desks be cleaned after lunch in classroom?­

A­: At the elementary level, rooms will be cleaned after lunch. It is expected that students will eat their lunches in their classroom. The Health and Safety advisory team is developing the protocol for before and after lunch.

12. Q: ­Will the water fountains be turned off?­

A­: Students will be encouraged to bring their own water bottles to school. Stat education law requires one water fountain per 100 students.  The filling stations (for water bottles) will continue to be utilied while the public water fountains will be closed off. The Health and Safety team is reviewing that topic and will make a decision before school begins.

13. Q: ­Do you know what time the village schools will start and end school each day? ­

A: ­Yes, this is the tentative schedule:

Sacandaga and Lincoln

Start Time – 9:30am
End Time – 3:05pm

Students – in-person and with virtual learning – will follow the sample class schedules.

14. Q: ­How will the children be able to interact with each other so it doesn’t feel like a robotic institution? ­

A­: Very carefully unfortunately. They will have to follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks. They will obviously be able to use hand signals, wave and do other things that will not being them any closer than six feet to another person.

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15. Q: ­Will there be orientations for incoming Kindergarteners?­

A­: Yes there is a kindergarten reopening committee who is working on creating an abbreviated orientation and screening opportunity.

16. Q: ­Will Chromebooks be available to those in need again?­

A­: Yes, we will once again make Chromebooks available to families that need them. Before school starts, we will reach out to ask how many will need them. We need to be careful since many of them were not returned from last year; those families will obviously not be able to get a second Chromebook this year if they never returned the one from last year.

17. Q: ­If a family chooses virtual learning (at the k-5 level) will they be taught by their scheduled teacher?­

A: That’s not clear at this point. We are working with CR BOCES to develop a regional virtual program.­ Your child may be taught virtually by a teacher from another school in Scotia-Glenville or by a teacher from another school district, through the CR BOCES model.

18. Q: ­What if an elementary school child who has a split house situation, and one parent wants virtual and the other wants the child to attend the school, can this be worked out with the school?­

A: ­The parents would have to work this out for themselves, whether to send the child in or not.

19. Q: ­How is space being used in elementary schools to keep social distance if all children will be there at once? Will kids be switching rooms after their 2 1/2 hours with their teachers or are teachers moving to the kids?­

A: Students will be staying in the same room and the teacher and a supervising adult will be rotating into the rooms.

20. Q: ­Will there be any sort of structured learning during the other 2 1/2 hours for elementary students when their primary teacher is not present?­

A­: They will have their specials (art, music, library and physical education), lunch, recess and receive any services like OT/PT or speech. They will also likely receive instructional materials.

21. Q: ­How will fire drills / lock down drills be handled in a socially distanced manner?­

A­: For fire drills, students will be taken outside in waves, so that an entire school is not outside at the same time. The practice for evacuating the building will be a phased one. Lockdown drills will be held I a socially distanced way, as much as possible.

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22. Q: ­If a child has an appointment for dentist for example and you have to pick them up, would they be allowed back in the building afterwards?­

A­: That will be handled as in the past. Students would be allowed back into the school building.

23. Q: ­At what point will they allow elementary students not be required to wear masks are there any bench marks for that goal?­

A­: At this point, the school district is following the recommendations of the CDC, NYS Health Department and NYS Education Department. Until the incidence of COVID is gone in the community, this may be the way education and many other activities are handled.

24. Q: ­Who is responsible to inform parents of children with special needs what their school will look like?

A:­ Parents of children with special needs will be contacted by the Office of Pupil Personnel Services.

25. Q: ­Will there be recess in K-5?  How would that look socially distanced?­

A­: Yes, that would occur after the 2.5 hours of instructional/core time with the supervising adult. Students will need to be maintain social distances on the playground and wear masks.

26. Q: If I have a new kindergartner will we be penalized if I choose not to start this child this year

A: No, that is a parent’s decision. You could hold your child’s entry into kindergarten off a year.

27. Q: ­How is bathroom cleaning being handled?  Are bathrooms going to be cleaned in between each student uses?­

A­: One student per bathroom at a time when the bathroom is in the classroom. Use of larger bathrooms (those serving more than one student at a time) will be determined by partitions, spacing, and potentially using every other sink.  All students and staff will wear a mask when in the restroom.­ Bathroom sanitizing will be done on a schedule, not after each use.

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28. Q: ­How long is a trimester in elementary?­

A­: Trimesters in the elementary schools are about 13 weeks long. The trimesters typically end in early December (this year, Dec. 4) and early March (next year, March 3).

28. Q: ­Is it realistic to expect elementary school children to remain 6 ft apart from their peers at all times? ­

A­: That will be the goal as much as possible, as well as wearing masks. There is some flexibility if two children are wearing a mask, they could probably be closer than 6 feet when passing in the hallway, for instance.

29. Q: ­Is there a possibility that elementary kids from the same family could have different start times based on the staggered schedule? Will times be available before we have to decide if we need to use the bus or not? Thank you! ­

A: Here are the tentative start and end times:

Glendaal and Glen-Worden

Start Time – 9:00am
End Time – 2:35pm

Sacandaga and Lincoln

Start Time – 9:30am
End Time – 3:05pm

Students – in-person and with virtual learning – will follow the sample class schedules

30. Q: ­Will there still be christmas/spring break other days off?­

A: Yes, the state is still requiring a 180 day schedule, similar to the past. The vacations are still scheduled unless the state takes action, like they did last year with the spring break in April.

31. Q: ­With shorter school days, are we looking at a longer school year?­

A: No, the 180 days must still be completed for each student but the state has removed the hourly requirements for education. It is not anticipated that the school year will be extended.

32. Q: ­I’ve seen guidance that students aren’t allowed to share supplies so will there be updates supply lists so each kid has their own? ­

A: We would ask parents to be sure they provide everything that was on the original supply lists. Teachers may add to the lists on the first day of school.

33. Q: ­What can parents of special ed preschoolers expect? Will those services be guaranteed? ­

A: Yes, those services will still be provided to students as recommended and approved by the Committee on Preschool Education.

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34. Q: If in school, what will the children be doing during the 2 1/2 hour time that their teacher is with the other half of class and they are with the supervised adult? Will they be watching a live stream of the lesson a teacher is giving in a different class or will or be like a study hall to do other work?

A: No, they will be participating in specials – such as art, music, library and physical education – eating lunch and going out for recess. Teachers may also opt to assign Reflex math or other instructional activities for students to work on during this time.

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MASKS/SOCIAL DISTANCING

  1. Q: ­What if a child cannot wear a mask for medical reasons? i.e Epilepsy­

A: ­We will deal with each of those issues individually. We would likely need a. note from your child’s doctor saying they should not wear a mask.

2. Q: ­If you’re practicing social distancing, why are masks required?­

A: ­The masks are required to keep everybody safe at schools, regardless of social distancing. There will be times when children can not socially distance, like in the hallways, but they will be expected to wear masks.

3. Q: ­How do we plan on dealing with families who don’t believe in masks?  How will mask wearing be “enforced”?­

A­: If a child is told repeatedly to wear their mask, first a call will be made home. If the issue isn’t resolved, the child and family will be placed on fully virtual learning from home.

4. Q: ­Can a child wear a face shield rather than a face mask?­

A: All students must wear a face mask. If they also want to wear a face shield, that is their choice. Some teachers will be wearing both.

5. Q: ­Has there been discussion of additional personnel to ensure children are social distancing?­

A­: We feel that, between staff in the buildings, we should have enough staff to remind students to socially distance.

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6. Q: ­Are they able to take the masks off once they are in class and sitting down?  Or will they need to wear them all day? ­

A: ­There will be mask breaks throughout the day.­

7. Q: ­The newsletter recently sent mentioned that masks or face shields may be used.  It is my understanding that face shields should only be used in conjunction with masks.  Face shields alone are insufficient.  Are masks now the only option?­

A­: That article actually says several times that masks must be worn at all times. There is one reference to “mask/face shield wearing” but that was not meant to be an exclusive statement. Students must wear masks; if they also want to wear face shields, they can do that.

8. Q: ­What about autistic children that will not keep a mask on? And virtual learning (as seen in the spring and this summer) is not working. ­

A­: Although every student is unique most students with Autism benefit from a highly structured instructional and social setting tailored to their needs. To be engaged in academic and social learning students need the physical presence of a highly trained and compassionate adult who can guide students to help maintain their emotional composure and to learn and use effective coping strategies. This type of setting is very difficult to create at a distance with virtual learning, When there is no “in school” option we do the best we can for these students given the limitations. We would encourage students who need this level of structure and support to plan to return to school. As with other aspects of learning to successfully relate to others and enjoy social interaction, learning to wear a mask will become a part of the direct instruction for students enrolled in those programs.

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9. Q: ­Will there be disciplinary action if a student doesn’t keep there mask on? Such as a kindergartner? I know my 6 year old can’t keep it on very long without touching it.­

A­: They and their parents will be reminded. If the issue isn’t resolved, those families will be asked to enroll in the fully virtual school.

10. Q: ­What will you do when a child doesn’t want to keep their mask on? they get fed up and it isn’t a scheduled mask break… are they sent to the office? sent home? ­

A: ­We will have masks for students. If the child refuses to wear the mask, we will engage the family in a conversation about what might be done to encourage mask wearing or if fully virtual instruction is a better option.

11. Q: ­If a family claims a medical exception exists and their child cannot wear a mask will they be required to enroll in distant learning so that all students are in fact wearing masks in the building?­

A: We will handle each medical exemption on a case-by-case basis. Our expectation is that all children in school should be wearing masks.

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HEALTH CHECKS

  1. Q: ­Isn’t it a violation of HIPPA to require health conditions be released?­

A­: No it isn’t. No records would be released; the schools already have health information about students and staff. From an article on the internet, “In most cases, the HIPAA Privacy Rule does not apply to an elementary or secondary school because the school either: (1) is not a HIPAA covered entity or (2) is a HIPAA covered entity but maintains health information only on students in records that are by definition “education records” under FERPA and, therefore, is not subject to the HIPAA Privacy Rule.”

2. Q: ­Who would be responsible for health checks? Unfortunately Parents don’t always keep sick kids home and wouldn’t be comfortable with temp checks at home.­

A: ­We are asking parents to do the health checks and staff will do it themselves. If they are not done before a student, that child will be segregated until the parents can be called, a temperature taken and the forms completed.­

3. Q: ­If children return to school, I really feel that school staff needs to take their temperatures at the door…not be left up to parents to do it at home.  I don’t trust all parents will do this each morning.  ­

A: The district’s reopening plan asks parents to take temperatures and fill out forms clearing the student before they leave home every day.

4. Q: ­What systems are in place to record health checks and ensure contact tracing?­

A­: The district is planning to use an app that will receive the daily information about students’ health checks. Contact tracing will be handled by the county health department once a case of COVID is discovered or suspected.

5. Q: ­Will there be required health checks more than once during the day?­

A­: No, at this time, those will be required before a student comes to school.

6. Q: Parents are balancing work responsibilities with family responsibilities.  I would feel more comfortable if a third party was evaluating temperature etc. of everyone. ­

A­: Schools do not have the staff to perform that function, that is why we are asking parents to work with us. If they are not done before a student, that child will be isolated until the parents can be called, a temperature taken and the forms completed.­

7. Q: ­What if a child is sent to school sick?­

A­: As with all cases of a sick child, the nurse will evaluate the situation. If a child shows up with a temperature above 100 degrees or is showing symptoms of COVID, he or she will be isolated and their parents called to come and pick them up.

8. Q: ­The reality is parents to some degree want their kiddos out of their hair! Putting trust in those parents in being honest and legit with their at home health check is significantly concerning. Just trying to be realist. Had to make this decision prof.­

A­: ­We are asking parents to do the health checks and staff will do it themselves. If they are not done before a student arrives, that child will be isolated until the parents can be called, a temperature taken and the forms completed.­

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9. Q: ­Will everyone who enter any school building have their temperature taken?­

A­: The schools will not be routinely taking temperatures at the door. Visitors will have to complete the health form asking how they are feeling and whether they have been exposed to anybody with COVID.

10. Q: ­The health checks work in business. I complete health checks every day.  I don’t think this will be a problem. Let these parents keep their children home­.

A­: When both parents have to rush out the door to work, we know it’s difficult to change plans and keep a child home. We are asking all parents to help us keep everybody at school safe by doing that.

11. Q: ­If the parent lies and doesn’t do the health check, if the child has covid the nurse cannot detect that?­

A­: There are many symptoms with COVID that replicate other things, like the flu. The nurse will use an abundance of caution when dealing with the symptoms and will isolate the child until a parent can  come and get the child. Testing will not be done at the schools.

12. Q: ­If we have nurses (healthcare providers) in every building, why would they not do the temp checks at the doors instead of parents on an honor system?­

A­: Because a nurse can not check hundreds of temperatures as students arrive at school. And a fever is only one of the symptoms of COVID, so the temperature checks may help but there are many reasons why a child could have a fever that are not COVID related.

13. Q: ­Do you foresee the students being tested in the school process­

A­: No, schools will not be testing students.

14. Q: ­What symptoms will lead a student to not be permitted to attend school?­

A: ­Fever and all of the typical COVID symptoms. Those will be detailed on the electronic form parents are asked to fill out each day before students come to school.­

15. Q: ­What will be considered a fever?­

A: A temperature above 100 degrees.

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VIRTUAL LEARNING

  1. Q: ­Will there be a make up from last year of what students did not learn that they would have under normal circumstances so they are at the appropriate grade level.­

A: Depending on the class and grade level we will be planning for some re-teaching of previously covered or uncovered materials. In some cases we will be be teaching more deeply into a concept that was covered previously that spirals into the next grade level.

2. Q: ­We are having a virtual meeting due to safety concerns, how are parents supposed to feel safe sending their children if we don’t feel safe enough to hold a meeting.

­A­: The campus buildings are still closed by governor’s order. That is why the Town Hall was done as a virtual event. Plus it allowed nearly 600 people to attend – that would have been difficult on campus.

3. Q: ­If you give the option of in person or distance learning, you can meet all needs. According to your own survey results, you have a mixture of responses to home vs. in person­

A: We are hopeful that the reopening plan works for most families and students at the school district.

4. Q: ­What if you pick face to face learning at the start of the school year and then COVID gets worse and we no longer feel comfortable sending our children to school. Will the parent have the option to go virtual? ­

A­: We are asking that parents switch at the end of the first trimester for elementary (December 4) and end of first marking period (November 13) for students in grades 6 – 12. It would be easier to accommodate a child switching from in-person to virtual than the other way around.

5. Q: ­Is virtual learning an option for Kindergarten?­

A­: Yes, all children will be able to participate in virtual learning if their families decided to do that.

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6. Q: ­Would it be an option to start online and see where we are in January/ February to go back physically?­

A­: Yes, secondary students could switch back to in-person in late January when the semester ends. Elementary could switch in early December. Switching to in-person necessitates arranging for bus transportation, which will be a challenge this year, as well as arranging class schedules to keep the number of students in each class to a socially distanced minimum.

7. Q: ­I do not think it is appropriate to select only a few grades to have full time in person teaching. The online is not up to par with in person.­

A­: All elementary students will be able to attend full time in-person; secondary students will be rotating between in person and virtual classes.

8. Q: ­Will tutoring be available for those students who struggle with distance learning?­

A­: Currently we are unable to offer peer tutors. We would encourage students to reach out to their teacher if they are struggling with a particular assignment. We are also engaging in professional learning opportunities to engage and increase the rigor of virtual learning.

9. Q: ­If a parent decides to keep their child home at the beginning of the year, can they return at any point with notice or will they be required to wait until the end of the trimester/quarter?­

A­: Yes, they will need to wait until the end of the trimester for elementary (early December) or end of the quarter for secondary (late November). That is because class schedules and transportation would need to be arranged for more students re-entering the school and needing to be socially distanced on already existing bus runs or in classrooms.

10. Q: ­You have stated that virtual/remote learning will be an option – will that be an option for students at all grade levels? We have a child in elementary and one in MS.­

A­: It will be an option for all students.

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11. Q: ­Will teachers be required and if so, supported when being required to teach both in-person and virtually, simultaneously?  I am a teacher myself and this seems very tricky…­

A­: Secondary teachers will teach their full course load but with just one third of students sitting in front of them at any time. The other secondary students will be online watching the class live. Elementary teachers in school will teach students directly; other elementary teachers will be teaching virtually.

12. Q: ­What determines the severity of a child’s disability? ­

A­:There may be many ways to define the severity of a student’s disability. Practically speaking, the severity of a child’s disability may be determined by the extent to which instruction and the learning environment need to be specialized or tailored for the student to provide the opportunity for the student to obtain meaningful academic, social, and emotional benefit from his/her educational program. What is the nature of the accommodations and modifications to the environment and instruction that are needed? What type of human resources are needed for the student? Generally, how different from the general education program is the instruction and environment required by the student for success?

13. Q: ­Why not ask parents if they want to send their children to in person learning? You might find that you can make everyone happy by letting those parents afraid of COVID leave their children home everyday while others can send their child every day­

A­: That is most likely how it will work as we enter the new school year.

14. Q: ­When virtual for 6-12 will they be watching what the in-person students are seeing? A live class?­

A­: Yes, they will be seeing the same class. Students who are home will have to follow the same schedule they would in school.

15. Q: ­Will remote learning be available for all grades in Elementary School if the parents decide they aren’t comfortable sending their child/children back?­

A­: Yes, that will be an option for parents of elementary students.

16. Q: ­Again, asking as a family who is looking for full time remote learning for our children, will that option be available for all grade levels?­

A­: Yes

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17. Q: ­Virtually meant something very different for each teacher.  What professional development are you providing for teachers to ensure that virtual learning AND teaching is equitable and rigorous across classes and staff?  Will there be minimum requirements fo­r their teaching quality?

A­: We are partnering with ITSE International Society for Technology in Education, Capital Region BOCES and our own internal experts to provide professional learning opportunities to staff.

18. Q: ­Will families have the flexibility to change in person versus remote learning day to day?­

A­: No, that won’t be possible. Families will have to make a commitment to in-person or virtual for at least a specified time period, depending on the child’s grade.

19. Q: ­If a parent is not comfortable sending their child in, is virtual learning available or will you have to homeschool?­

A­: We would hope that a family would opt for the virtual learning instead of homeschooling. All parents have the choice to homeschool, however.

20. Q: ­If a family chooses to have their child do virtual learning how then will that child completes labs that they would be responsible for per regents requirements­

A­: The NYS Department of Education has provided districts with the flexibility to allow for a blend of hands-on and virtual science laboratory experiences

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21. Q: ­For virtual learners, will they still be able to participate in their MS Honors classes?  I saw that you are working with BOCES for a regional virtual plan, wondering if that will be addressed.­

A­:  Assuming the teacher has returned, students will have the same schedules that they signed up for, including honors classes. The BOCES option will be used if Scotia-Glenville does not have enough teachers to provide for the students who are learning virtually.

22. Q: ­Are HS & MS students only going in for labs and PE, or is it for other subjects as well? ­

A­: They will follow their usual schedules for the day.

23. Q: ­Who is responsible for creating lessons for virtual learning (HS level)?­

A­: The teachers who will be teaching the class create the lessons. Many teachers also collaborate with their subject area or grade level peers to plan for instruction. The standards and curriculum are consistent teacher to teacher.

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24. Q: If after ten weeks we decide to send our kid back, will there be a transition time?­

A: ­Yes, at the end of the first trimester for elementary (Dec. 4) and the end of the first quarter (Nov. 13) for MS/HS­, you will be able to send students back to school. There are many logistics that have to be worked out involving transportation and class schedules.

25. Q: ­I will need to know more about what virtual learning/teaching requirements will look like before making a decision.  Can you give me some information about what in person virtual requirements will be for teachers/students?

A­: At the elementary level, students may or may not have their classroom teacher for the online virtual learning; at the secondary level, they will be viewing the actual classroom teacher live as they are teaching. All teachers will be teaching the state standards as they have in the past.

26. Q: ­Will the online classes for the HS last more than a few mins like what was happening in the spring??­

A­: Each class period will be the same as it is in-person.

27. Q: ­If we chose the virtual option, at the elementary level, how can or will we know if our child is getting the same education as their peers?­

A: They will be taught by a regular teacher, though perhaps not your child’s homeroom teacher. For example, a teacher from Glendaal could be teaching a class that includes students from Lincoln and Sacandaga. It will be determined once we know how many students and staff need to participate in virtual learning.

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28. Q: ­Will students attending school virtually be at ANY disadvantage as far as class choice, supports, acceleration, or any other educational aspect when compared to those attending in person twice every 6 days?­

A: No, MS and HS students will be viewing their own classroom teacher and class on the days when they are not at school.

29. Q: ­Would it be an option for a child to go to school for the entire week, as both parents work and the child doesn’t do the remote learning­

A: Elementary students will be able to attend every day; secondary students would attend on a rotating basis.

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SAFETY

  1. Q: ­How do we know that sending our kids to school is safe considering that other businesses, day cares, etc. are closing because after they open up, they close again because of cov’d diagnoses.­

A: The governor has determined that, if infection rates climb, schools will be put on notice to begin thinking about closing. He has said that schools can reopen as long as the infection rate is less than 5 percent and they will be closed once the infection rate reaches 9 percent in a region; at this time, the infection rate in the Capital Region is 1.2 percent.

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SERVICES

  1. Q: ­One of the initial proposals was for teachers to rotate instead of students. What would like look like for children with an iep and has many services coming in and out throughout their regular school day­

A­: Given the social distancing constraints imposed by the coronavirus situation, the provision of related services will have to be tailored to the individual classroom and student. There may be less “push-in” services by related service providers and more “pull-out” in some cases. In some classes, service providers may be able to come into the classroom as before the pandemic.

2. Q: ­How will the special education teachers and therapists work with students (speech, OT, PT)­

A­: Given the social distancing constraints imposed by the coronavirus situation, the provision of related services will have to be tailored to the individual classroom and student. There may be less “push-in” services by related service providers and more “pull-out” in some cases. In some classes, service providers may be able to come into the classroom as before the pandemic.

3. Q: ­Will the children receiving special services like speech be able to receive those services?­

A­: Yes. The delivery of service may look different than in pre pandemic times based on the social distancing and cleaning requirements now in place. Related services will be provided as described in the IEP, with the flexibility needed for the limitations imposed by the pandemic. The federal and state governments have provided schools with flexibility in this area recognizing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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4. Q: ­How Will OT PT ST be provided ? Are their enough providers?­

A­: Yes we have enough providers.

5. Q: ­Will support services be offered remotely, in person, or both?­

A­: Support services will be provided when students are both in school and virtually.

6. Q: ­What would happen to a child who has many push on services throughout the day if teachers are the ones moving in the elementary buildings? ­

A: The delivery of service may look different than in pre pandemic times based on the social distancing and cleaning requirements now in place. Related services will be provided as described in the IEP, with the flexibility needed for the limitations imposed by the pandemic. The federal and state governments have provided schools with flexibility in this area recognizing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

7. Q: Will kids doing speech be required to wear masks or will they be able to wear face shields? Their mouths need to be seen for tongue placement­

A: The school district has ordered special masks allowing teachers to see the students’ mouths that will be used for speech services.

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TRANSPORTATION

  1. Q: ­Do parents have the option to drop off/pick up their children if they have reservations about the bus?

A: ­Yes, parents can drop off and pick up their children.

2. Q: ­Can’t parents offer to bring students to reduce the demand on the buses?­

A­: Yes

3. Q: ­Will students that are normally walkers be provided transportation?­

A­: No, students who have traditionally walked will continue to do so.

4. Q: ­How can you have 30 kids on an enclosed bus but only 10 in a classroom….­

A­: The students traveling on the bus will be socially separated as much as possible, with students sitting next to the windows on the inside of a seat.

5. Q: ­Why can’t parents sign up to transport their children first, and then see how many kids are left to see how many need to be driven?­

A­: Parents can agree to transport their children if they wish.

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6. Q: I cannot answer the question if my children will ride the bus until i know the start time if it will change.  Will this information be provided?

A: We will provide that information to you as soon as possible. Transportation is running several scenarios.

7. Q: ­Will the school district consider bus monitor performing temp checks prior to child getting on the bus? ­

A­: No, many of our buses do not have monitors. We are asking parents to take temperatures at home before the student leaves.

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COVID

  1. Q: ­We are unable to stop the spread of pink eye, common cold, lice etc, how is COVID different?­

A­: We are trying to contain it as best we can by practicing smart activities, like social distancing and wearing masks. We are also asking for health checks for students and staff to try to prevent an outbreak in a school.

2. Q: ­What will be the consequence if parents send a sick child to school? Not covid specific- cold, flu, stomach bug, etc­

A­: Unfortunately, schools deal with sick children all the time. A nurse will evaluate the situation. If a child is believed to be positive with COVID symptoms, they will be isolated until their parents arrive.

3. Q: ­If a child in a classroom shows symptoms of covid, will the entire classroom then be required to quarantine for 2 weeks? ­

A: ­We will leave that to the direction of the county department of health in conjunction with our school physicians and school personnel.

4. Q: ­Since covid-19 doesn’t show signs until 2 days after contracting it. Wouldn’t it be better to do hybrid approach for all students?

A­: We are hoping that, with the precautions we have put in place, that there will not be a COVID outbreak at the SG schools. If that does happen, we will work with the county Health Department and our school physicians.

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5. Q: ­Will parents be notified as soon as possible of an ill student that has been at school for essential quarantining?­

A­: We will work with the county Health Department about that. Using contact tracing for the student, the health department will advise as to who has to quarantine.

6. Q: ­What happens if a student or teacher comes down with COVID, would the whole class have to quarantine?­

A­: We will work with the county Health Department on the particulars of the situation.

7. Q: ­If someone is sick in the class and the whole class needs to be quarantined, will the parents also need to be quarantined? How far does it extend out?­

A­: That will be up to the county Health Department. It really is handled on a case-by-case basis.

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BOCES

  1. Q: ­Will votec be open this year?­

A: ­The Capital Region BOCES is working on reopening their programs for the 2020-21 school year.­

2. Q: ­Are there any updates on whether or not new visions programs will continue?­

A­: ­The Capital Region BOCES is working on reopening their programs for the 2020-21 school year.­

3. Q: Will SG inform parents of children in special ed programs outside the building of what their plan is for the fall or will we be hearing directly from BOCES?

A: Yes, the school district will be in contact with children who attend special education programs outside of the six SG schools.

4. Q: ­MY CHILD GOES TO MAYWOOD – WILL THEY FOLLOW SG? or will they tell me their plan directly­

A: Maywood is part of the Capital Region BOCES. BOCES has its own reopening plan. You can check that out here – https://www.capitalregionboces.org/about-us/reopening-plan/

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YMCA

  1. Q: Will there be morning and afternoon Y program?­

A: ­Before and after school YCare through the YMCA will be provided at the four elementary schools. It was previously not believed the programs would be offered this year in the buildings.

The before and after care hours have been altered to match the new school start and end times. Registration is open now.

Contact Sahara Outing  at 518-456-3634 ext 1124 with questions. You can also check the website at www.cdymca.org for the most up-to-date information.

Here are the operating times for the YMCA before- and after-school care programs at Scotia-Glenville this year:

  • Glendaal and Glen-Worden
    AM 7:00 am – 9:00 am
    PM 2:35 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Sacandaga and Lincoln
    AM 7:00 am – 9:30 am
    PM 3:05 pm – 6:00 pm

In addition, these child care providers are available in the community to provide before- and after-school care:

  • Duanesburg YMCA
    221 Victoria Drive Delanson NY 12053
    Cheryl Misiewicz
    518-895-9500
    cmisiewicz@cdymca.org
  • JCC Schenectady
    2625 Balltown Road Schenectady NY 12309
    Lynn Capobianco
    518-377-8803
    lynnc@jcc.org
  • Lally Center (YMCA)
    204 South Ten Broeck St Scotia NY 12302
    Beth Doris
    518-374-4914
    bdoris@cdymca.org
  • Little Dreamers Daycare
    1 Deerfield Place Scotia NY  12302
    April Talbot
    518-414-0443
  • Prentice, Elizabeth
    51 MacArthur Drive Scotia NY  12302
    Elizabeth Prentice
    518-374-3752
    bprentice@verizon.net
  • Rechnitzer, Janet
    201 Swan Street Scotia NY  12302
    Janet Rechnizter
    518-275-9912
  • Smart Strides Childcare, LLC*
    3 Horstman Drive, Scotia NY  12302
    Tiffany Starring
    518-374-4912
    smartstrideschildcarellc@yahoo.com

      *Pre-school aged children only

    • The Giving Tree
      9 Cuthbert Street Scotia NY  12302
      Kristy Van Hoesen
      518-396-6448
      thegivingtree12302@gmail.com
    • Tiny Town Daycare
      14 Saratoga Road Glenville NY  12302
      Jackie Congdon
      518-399-5866
      tinytowndaycare14@gmail.com

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    AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

    1. Q: ­What about after school activities, like sports­?

    A­: At this point, these are being studied as part of the Advisory Teams working on many aspects of the reopening plan.

    2. Q: ­With no after school activities in buildings, what about outside activities like athletics? I know its not a priority right now, but does Scotia have a plan for athletics?­

    A­: We will follow the dictates of the NYS Public High School Athletic Association.

    3. Q: ­Are sports an option for the fall…even if there are no games and there are practices outside, so that skills are not lost­

    A­: At this point, fall sports will be reduced if it is offered at all. We are following the guidelines from the NYS Public High School Athletic Association

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    MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

    1. Q: ­Are teachers going to be prepared to address the anxiety that will be there for students (i.e.trauma informed instruction or some similar mental health training related to anxiety?­

    A­:  There is currently a social emotional learning advisory team looking at professional learning opportunities for staff. Psychologists and social workers are also be available to these students.

    2. Q: ­How do you plan on managing the increased social-emotional needs of students transitioning back to school and ensuring school still feels like a safe place despite masks, social distancing etc…?­

    A­: There is currently a social emotional learning advisory team looking at professional learning opportunities for staff. Teachers, social workers and school psychologists will be available to work with students who have difficulty transitioning back to school.

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    FILTRATION/SANITIZATION

    1. Q: ­Will the schools be using a MERV filter system?­

    A: ­We are currently installing new filters in all buildings for the heating systems/air handling units.

    2. Q: ­Will the school be sanitized on a regular basis?­

    A­: Yes, there will be specific times during the day when classrooms will be sanitized, after students and staff have left.

    3. Q: ­Are the air filters being upgraded?­

    A­: ­We are currently installing new filters in all buildings for the heating systems/air handling units.

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    4. Q: ­What will the schools be disinfected with?­

    A­: It will be a disinfectant designed for use in schools. Many items, such as Chlorox, are not allowed in schools.

    5. Q: ­Will wipes and hand santizer be around the schools­

    A: Yes, the schools will continue to have hand sanitizer dispensers in the hallways and cafeterias. Many classrooms may also be outfitted with the dispensers.

    6. Q: ­Just have the kids wipe their own desks as they leave and then again as they enter – this is how we handled labs in college­

    A: Our plan is to use school district staff for cleaning of desks and frequently touched areas.

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