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Health and Safety Plan to Reopen Schools - Updated FAQs

Last update 8/3/20

  1. Can you please explain the six foot social distancing requirement? Yes. On July 16 the Governor issued the following guidance - “All schools should have protocols for distancing student desks/seating and other social distancing practices that allows at least 6 feet of separation among students and staff throughout the day to the maximum extent feasible.” While the Governor provides the caveat to the six foot requirement - "to the maximum extent feasible" - he has not defined it. Administration has understood this to mean classroom seating should be at six feet - areas such as buses and halls fall under the extent feasible language. The reality is that the Governor has left it to the locality to define - and we see that different districts and communities are defining the term differently. So we will need to discuss how we as a community want to interpret the Governor's language.


  1. Will both masks and face shields be allowed as face coverings? We will require staff and students to wear a face mask.


  1. Can students take off their mask if they are social distanced at 6 feet or more? On July 1, 2020, the Secretary of Health issued an Order requiring all individuals to wear a face covering when they leave their homes. This Order applies to any individual aged two and older whenever outside the home, including while in school. This requirement is in place regardless of social distance. The guidance does seem to allow for students to take off masks outside if more than 6 feet from others.


  1. Is it possible to put plexiglass on the student desks, so that less distancing is needed and students and teachers can work more closely? We’ve looked at the plexiglass for student desks, but it doesn’t surround the students chair area so we don’t feel that this would allow us to eliminate the physical distancing. 


  1. What is the plan if we are in some form of brick and mortar and a student or teacher contracts COVID-19?  Will their entire class/school need to quarantine? The Chester County Health Department (CCHD) will advise school districts on what action to take based on  positive infections of a student or staff member. In conversation with CCHD it is clear there would be contact tracing and students and staff that have been in direct contact with a classmate or staff member who has tested positive would need to quarantine. Direct contact, we have been told, means within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes. CCHD has provided school districts guidance on exclusions from and returning to school.


  1. Has the District considered COVID-19 testing protocols? Will student and staff temperatures be taken before entering the building? Parents will be encouraged to screen students at home before coming to school. This is in the Pennsylvania Health Department guidance. Based on this guidance, if a student exhibits symptoms at school they will be sent home and will be required to have a COVID-19 test.


  1. How will Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) be handled in the remote learning environment? Students are entitled to receive the supports and services outlined in their current Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).  It is important to note that the current IEPs were written for brick and mortar educational programs.  Therefore, additional or different supports and services may be needed for students participating in remote learning.  IEP teams may need to reconvene to discuss any necessary changes and delineate which supports or services are needed within the different environments (brick and mortar, remote learning, or both).

    Special education teachers will be assigned to instruct and support students in remote learning.  Case managers will facilitate IEP meetings and coordinate with regular education teachers and related services providers in the online environment.

    Related services will be provided at the recommended frequencies noted in the Related Services section of the IEP.  For students in remote learning, these services will primarily occur via Zoom (telepractice).  In certain instances and only when in the green phase, services may be provided in the student’s home or greater community as determined by the IEP team. 


  1. How will 504 Service Plans be handled in the remote learning environment? Students’ 504 accommodations will continue to be followed, as appropriate, in the remote learning setting.  School-based 504 teams may need to meet to document accommodations that are required in a remote learning setting, as well as those required in a brick and mortar classroom setting, should they differ.


  1. How will Gifted Individualized Education Plans (GIEPs) be handled in the remote learning environment? Students are entitled to receive the specially designed instruction and services outlined in their current Gifted Individualized Education Plans (GIEPs).  It is important to note that the current GIEPs were written for brick and mortar educational programs.  Therefore, additional or different specially designed instruction and services may be needed for students participating in remote learning.  GIEP teams may need to reconvene to discuss any necessary changes and delineate which specially designed instruction or services are needed within the different environments (brick and mortar, remote learning, or both).  Gifted education teachers will be assigned to instruct and support students in remote learning.  Gifted education case managers will facilitate GIEP meetings and coordinate with regular education teachers in the online environment.


  1. In the scaffolded and remote learning options, will it be possible for select students with special needs to attend in brick and mortar? We are looking into this as an option. Some students with disabilities requiring a higher level of supports and services may be recommended to attend a daily brick and mortar program unless our county is declared in the red phase.  In the red phase, we would not be able to bring students into school buildings.  


  1. In the AB/CD/EF, Scaffolded and Remote Learning options is the online experience different from the UCFVA program? Yes. Remote learning in all three of these plans will be UCFSD teachers and our curriculum. UCFVA is a true cyber school asynchronous option with BVA teachers and BVA curriculum.


  1. Do you expect the PIAA to allow Fall Sports to continue? Currently the PIAA announced that they are “moving forward”, but will follow guidance from the state. With that we have an athletics HSP that is almost complete and will be presented to the board for approval on Aug. 3. This plan was built including various stakeholders and will be reviewed with coaches, athletes, and booster presidents. We hope to offer sports, but ultimately, it won’t look the same with schedule modifications and mitigation strategies.


  1. In the AB/CD/EF Plan, Is my child able to participate in synchronous remote learning all six days of the learning cycle or do they have to attend on their assigned two days? They can participate all six days in synchronous remote learning.


  1. What will Kindergarten look like in the AB/CD/EF plan? There will be AM and PM Kindergarten. Kindergarten students will attend brick and mortar two out of six days and the other four days will access their class through remote learning. Classrooms will be disinfected between AM and PM classes.


  1. Is UCFVA the only remote option in the brick and mortar plan? In the all students in everyday plan, it is the only option.


  1. How does the UCFVA curriculum differ from the UCFSD remote learning curriculum? UCFVA curriculum is developed and designed to fit with a cyberlearning program. It is an asynchronous instructional approach. Our remote learning program will be balanced between asynchronous and synchronous if our schools are closed and it will be all synchronous if schools are open and only some students are in school each day.


  1. Will there be an option for kids to attend school part of the year remotely and then transition to in-school?  Will parents be given an opportunity to re-evaluate and change our elections throughout the year? If a family wants to attend UCFVA, we are asking parents to commit to a semester. A semester commitment is important for class sections and staffing. 


  1. What happens when we go back to red?  Will the district return to the distance learning program similar to the spring? Yes, but there will be adjustments based on what we learned last spring. Examples of this are that teachers will have a balanced approach between asynchronous and synchronous instruction and students will be required to participate in the live lessons.


  1. Can we utilize outdoor space (via tents, etc) to increase student spacing? We have looked into outdoor space use. We certainly encourage staff to use current outdoor spaces.  Large tent rental costs are  (30’x40’-approx $4,000/mo), direct purchase costs are similar, but are a one time expense. We do have concerns with physical safety if outdoors full time. There is the possibility of using internal courtyards for tents, but we don’t have them at all schools.  Rental and purchasing is getting harder and harder as colleges and universities are aggressively pursuing this option as well. Lead time for purchasing and setup could be 3-5 weeks upon receiving ordering. Other educational issues; technology, furnishings, etc. However, teachers may utilize outdoor spaces for instruction when feasible.

  2. How will proper social distancing be achieved on the school bus?  Our goal will be to have one student per seat. This along with other safety protocols, wearing masks and boarding from back to front  will help to mitigate health risks. Parents driving students to and from school is still encouraged. 


  1. Will there be more parking spaces opened at the High School for those who wish to drive and stay off the buses? Yes. High school administration is working with buildings and grounds to identify as many spaces as possible. We are hopeful we will be able to park all students that wish to drive to campus. 

  2. What measures are being taken to filter the air in the classrooms to avoid the virus spreading throughout the building through the HVAC? Currently, we are planning to do all the things that ASHREA and the CDC recommend; increase outside air intake, run equipment for longer time frames, ensure proper operation of equipment, and additional filter changes. These changes will involve additional operational costs.  We are looking into other air cleaning technologies, such as bi-polar ionization, but there are upfront capital costs, and lead times associated with these air cleaning solutions. 


  1. What technology will be used in the AB/CD/EF plan to incorporate remote learners who are home four days out of the six-day cycle or those who decide to stay remote all six days? We will be using the Zoom platform to deliver the synchronous learning to our remote learners.  Teachers will utilize technology in their room to integrate our remote users in the classroom by use of Frontrow sound systems, Smartboard Technology, Webcams, and microphones.  Our Learning Management Systems (Canvas and Seesaw) will provide all students with assignments and resources.  Other technology resources such as online textbooks and other learning sites will be delivered to the students.

  2. Will YCare be available to families in these plans? Yes. We are working with the YMCA to provide expanded childcare services for our families.