Questions and Answers about the OESJ reopening plan

Instruction/Scheduling

Q.  Is remote learning an option?

A.  Yes, there will be a remote learning only option for all grades K-12.  As you can imagine with staffing and technology issues it can be very difficult however, we are working on a plan to ensure students can learn effectively.  A form will need to be filled out no later than Friday, August 21, 2020 in order to choose this option. It will be available on our district website or in paper form at both buildings.

Q.  Will elementary students still have recess?  Can they use the playground?

A.  To the extent possible and weather permitting, elementary students will still participate in recess.  The Elementary school is currently working with staff to develop alternative recess activities that abide by social distancing guidelines.

Q.  How will attendance be handled for either mode of instruction?

A.  There will be an expectation for daily attendance of all students.  All attendance procedures will be in full effect whether students are in the in-person group or remote.  Students who are chronically absent will receive the same follow-up (ie: guidance, administration, child study team, child protective services) whether they are in the in-person school or the virtual school.

Health & Safety

Q.  Will the school provide the students and staff with masks? What if my child forgets his mask or loses it during the day?

A.  Yes, while students bringing their own cloth masks to school is encouraged, the district will provide every student and staff member with a mask if they do not have one when they arrive at the bus stop.  Each school bus and school building will have extra masks available should they get lost, soiled, forgotten, or etc.

Q.  Are cloth face masks acceptable face coverings?

A.  Per the NYSDOH Guidance, “Acceptable face coverings include but are not limited to cloth-based face coverings (eg: homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana) and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose.

Q.  Will students be expected to wear their masks all day long during school or will they be allowed to take them off once they are seated at their desks as long as they are socially distanced?

A.  Yes, students may remove their masks under the direction of staff during mealtimes and while seated at their desks provided they remain 6 feet apart from one another.  Mask breaks will also be built into the daily schedule of each classroom.

Q.  Will the hallways be crowded when classes switch?

A.  Because we will adhere to DOH and SED social distance guidelines, we are considering staggering times for when students switch classes.  These details still need to be defined based on the number of students who chose the in-person school option.  We are also eliminating locker visits to cut down on hallway congestion.

Q. Do students and staff have to maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times?

A.  Pursuant to NYSDOH Guidance, schools must ensure that appropriate social distancing (ie: 6 feet/barriers) is maintained between individuals while in school facilities and on school grounds (inclusive of students, faculty and staff), unless safety or the core activity requires a shorter distance.  Schools must maintain protocols and procedures for students, faculty and staff to ensure appropriate social distancing to protect against the transmission of the COVID-19 virus when on school grounds and in school facilities, including the responsibility to configure spaces so individuals can maintain social distancing.  As a baseline, face coverings are required to be worn at any time or place that individuals cannot maintain appropriate social distancing.

Q. How are the classrooms going to be disinfected when students change classes?

A.  At the elementary level, students will not be changing classes.  At the secondary level, we will have procedures in place that will allow for time to clear and disinfect the entire building and all used transportation vehicles each day.  Maintenance will also be disinfecting all of the common areas throughout the day.

Q.  Will the district be shutting down buildings to outside visitors and volunteers?

A.  Outside visitors and volunteers will be limited as much as possible this school year.  Any individual who does entrer the buildings will undergo the same health screening as students and staff.

Q.  Will employees need to take COVID-19 cleaning/disinfecting training?

A.  Yes, everyone will have to be trained on proper COVID-19 precautions, guidelines and on proper cleaning, hygiene and hand washing protocols.

Transportation

Q.  Will I be able to call and make a bus change if needed?

A.   In order to adhere to guidelines set forth by the DOH, the district had to modify its transportation policies therefore daily requests for transportation changes will be prohibited.  Please note: Picking up your child will always be an option that requires notification prior to 12 noon daily.

Child Nutrition

Q. Will lunches need to be brought to school every day? Or will they be provided?

A.  School meals will continue to be available to all students.  Students may also bring lunches from home.

Facilities

Q. Will students be allowed to use their lockers?

A.  For the time being lockers will not be used as this will assist in reducing congestion.

Technology

Q.  How will poor internet service/connectivity be addressed?

A.  It is the district’s goal to provide wifi access for students who lack it and the district is working on a plan to address this. Please notify the district technology office if connectivity is or has been an issue in the past.

Special Education

Q. Will IEP/504 Plans be met?

A.  The district will provide, to the greatest extent possible, each student with a disability, the special education and related services, identified in the student’s IEP.  Due to the health and safety requirements that must be in place, the district may not be able to provide all services in the same mode and/or manner they are typically provided.  Methods of delivery of services will be determined based on whether the student is an in-person, hybrid or (if applicable) fully remote setting. Students’ service providers(s), including their special education case manager and CSE Chairperson, if appropriate, will consult with parents regarding the specific methods of service delivery for their child.