2020-21 Reopening Plan - Parent FAQs
  • We have assembled the following responses to Frequently Asked Questions by parents, in the hope that it will help address some of the questions and concerns of our patrons. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, and as new directives or guidelines may be given from the State or from local health departments, the answer to some of these questions may change also. We will do our best to keep the answers up-to-date and accurate.

Reopening Plan - General Questions

  • The Reopening Plan doesn’t contain a lot of details. Why not?

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    • The Reopening Plan provides a general overview of our plan to reopen schools. This is intentional. All of our specific protocols such as hygiene, illness monitoring, cleaning, case investigation, contact tracing, special education procedures, etc., sit outside the plan. We anticipate that protocols and procedures will need to be adapted as situations evolve. In addition, teachers and employees are being trained in principle-based strategies for reducing the spread and transmission of the virus and then they apply those principles in their own unique settings.   

     

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  • What are the chances that “the plan” will change between now and the first day of school?

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    • One thing we have learned during this experience is that change seems to be constant. A plan is simply that, a plan. We will do our best to adhere to our plan, but will be flexible to changing circumstances.

     

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  • How were parents included in the development of the plan?

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    • We surveyed parents in May as we were completing the school year and also held some parent focus groups to help us understand what worked well and what didn’t work well during the school dismissal. We also spent two days with administrators reviewing this information. In July, after we received State requirements and recommendations for reopening, we sent that information to parents and surveyed them again.  We received over 6,800 responses, which provided us with a snapshot of how parents felt about school reopening.  
    • After developing the draft of the plan we again surveyed parents on any concerns with the plan. The feedback we received was very helpful. One challenge with any feedback is reconciling all of the different opinions. We also have to balance those opinions with state requirements and recommendations. We know that families have different needs, and that is why we are offering two different school options so families can make the best decision for their situation.  

     

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  • How will COVID-19 impact the 2020-2021 school calendar?

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    • The current plan is for school to begin on August 20, 2020, and finish on May 28, 2021, adhering to the academic calendar as closely as possible.

     

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  • How can we create a sense of normalcy for students during this pandemic?

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    • It is our goal to create an educational environment that is as “normal” as possible.  Instruction within the classroom will not change dramatically. Daily schedules will be shortened but otherwise remain intact. As of now, extracurricular activities will continue. In a unified effort, we can all help make the upcoming school year and the changes that are associated with it as normal as possible for students, parents, and school district employees.  

     

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  • What will school start and end times be?

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    • Elementary school will begin at 9:05 am and end at 2:50 pm Monday through Friday.  Morning kindergarten will run from 9:05 am-11:45 am. Afternoon kindergarten will run from 12:10 pm-2:50 pm.
    • Middle school and high school will begin at 8:00 am and end at 2:00 pm Monday through Friday.

     

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Face Coverings (Masks, Shields) & Physical Distancing

  • Is my child required to wear a mask all day at school?

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    • All students are expected to have a clean face covering and wear it when physical distancing is not possible. However, we anticipate times during the day when physical distancing will allow students to get a break from their masks. 

     

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  • Is it an option for children to wear face shields instead of masks?

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    • Yes. Face shields will be made available to students who have accommodations due to special needs. However, students with face shields will also be asked to increase their physical distance. The CDC does not recommend face shields as a full replacement for a face mask. 

     

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  • Are parents expected to supply masks for their children?

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    • Two washable face masks will be supplied by the school district for all students.
    • Parents are welcome to also supply their own face masks.

     

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  • How do you expect small children to keep a mask on all day during school?

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    • We know and expect masks will be difficult for younger children. However, we plan to teach mask wearing like we do with any task or routine.  

     

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  • Will my child be punished for choosing to not wear a mask at school?

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    • No, but parents of students who choose not to wear a mask will be contacted to discuss mask expectations and solutions. 

     

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  • Will masks be mandatory at lunch?

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    • We recognize wearing a mask when eating is not possible. Students will be directed to physical distance during lunch while they are eating. At other times, they should wear their masks. 

     

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  • Will masks be mandatory at recess for elementary school?

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    • When physical distancing is possible, students may remove their masks to play at recess. 

     

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  • What if my special needs child cannot tolerate wearing a mask?

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    • Accommodations will be made for students or staff who have special needs. 
    • Appropriate and consistent use of cloth face coverings may be challenging for some students, teachers, and staff, including:
      • Younger students, such as those in early elementary school.
      • Students, teachers, and staff with severe asthma or other breathing difficulties.
      • Students, teachers, and staff with special educational or healthcare needs, including intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, and sensory concerns or tactile sensitivity.

     

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  • Will my child be required to wear a mask on the bus?

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    • Yes, masks are required on school buses where physical distancing is not possible. 

     

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  • Will my child be denied a ride on a bus if not wearing a mask at the bus stop?

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    • Disposable masks will be provided to students who forget their mask. No child will be denied a ride on a bus for not having their own face mask. 

     

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  • How will students be able to participate in choir, band and PE classes with masks on?

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    • We recognize that choir, band and PE classes pose significant challenges. Schools will try to schedule choir, band, and other higher-risk courses (with increased levels of respiratory output) outdoors or in larger settings where students can physically distance.

     

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  • What if a child’s mask gets dirty while at school? Sneezing, bloody nose, etc.?

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    • Disposable masks will be available at each school. Your child can request a disposable mask from a teacher or in the front office.

     

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  • How can you give proper instruction to little kids when you can’t see their mouths and vice versa?

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    • This will be difficult. We have ordered face shields for teachers which will help to some degree. 

     

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  • How will you ensure physical distancing in a school environment?

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    • We will do our best to facilitate physical distancing, but recognize it will not always be possible in a school setting. This is where face coverings can be an important tool to mitigate risk. In classrooms, teachers have been asked to remove nonessential furniture and space student desks and chairs as far apart as possible with students facing forward. 

     

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  • Will class sizes be smaller to help with physical distancing?

    Posted by:
    • According to the Center for Disease Control, “To date, there is no published scientific study on optimal maximum or minimum cohort sizes in reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission among school-aged children.”
    • We chose to have all students at school with a Monday through Friday schedule to provide more consistency in teaching and learning and to accommodate parents with work schedules. For these reasons, class sizes will remain the same. Face coverings will be used when physical distancing is not possible.

     

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Hygiene & Cleaning

  • Won’t face masks being touched by hands throughout the day actually spread germs?

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    • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it. The custodial staff at each school will do their part to maintain a clean, safe environment by cleaning regularly and properly. It is extremely important that children and adults are taught good hygiene. Encouraging hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer will need to be a unified effort by parents and teachers.

     

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  • What changes have been made to cleaning surfaces and classrooms to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

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    • Enhanced and routine cleaning of surfaces will be performed before, during, and after the school day, with special attention given to frequently touched surfaces. 

     

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  • Will hand sanitizer be available in classrooms or should my student bring their own?

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    • Hand sanitizer will be made available in all classrooms and common areas.
    • Hand hygiene is considered one of the most important control measures for reducing the spread of infection. Everyone can protect themselves and prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) or other viruses by practicing effective and routine hand hygiene. Enhanced hygiene measures should always be in place at home and at school. 

     

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Transmission of COVID-19 & Illness Protocols

  • How is the district making decisions about COVID-19 and the spread of this virus?

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    • We are making decisions based on the best information available to us for hygiene, cleaning and illness monitoring protocols that are provided by the state. We also work closely with the local health department for case investigations, contact tracing and isolations or dismissals.  

     

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  • What is the school district doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while school is in session?

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    • All employees and students should perform regular hand hygiene by washing their hands or using hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer will be made available to faculty and students in each classroom and in common areas of the school. Students and employees are encouraged to bring their own personal water bottles to minimize the use and touching of water fountains.
    • All students and employees are expected to have a clean face covering and wear it when physical distancing is not possible.
    • Students, teachers, and other staff members should stay home if they are sick.

     

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  • How will the district monitor the spread of COVID-19 in schools?

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    • The district will work closely with the local health department for case investigation and contact tracing, as well as monitoring the return of students or staff who test positive for COVID-19.

     

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  • What happens if there’s a COVID-19 outbreak?

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    • We will work closely with the health department to isolate students if there is an outbreak in a particular class, group, or school, and to make any decisions on dismissal.  

     

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  • How will the district ensure that parents aren’t sending sick children to school?

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    • Students, teachers, and other staff members should stay home if they are sick. Schools will monitor employees and students for symptoms of illness. Students and employees who become ill at school will be sent home.  

     

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  • Will staff and students and visitors at school locations have daily temperature checks, etc.?

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    • Based on the available evidence, the Center for Disease Control does not recommend universal (widespread) symptom screenings be conducted by schools. Parents or caregivers should be strongly encouraged to monitor their children for signs of infectious illness, and students who are sick should not attend school.
    • Staff and students will not have daily temperature checks, but temperature checks are required for all visitors. Temperature checks will also be utilized if students demonstrate symptoms.

     

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  • Will my child be tested for COVID-19 without my consent?

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    • No. Schools will monitor employees and students for symptoms of illness but will not perform tests. Students and employees who become ill at school will be sent home.

     

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  • What if my child becomes ill at school?

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    • Schools will monitor employees and students for symptoms of illness. Students and employees who become ill at school will be sent home.  Each school is required to follow an illness protocol and have an onsite location for ill students until a parent, guardian, or emergency contact can pick them up. 
    • Student privacy and dignity will be preserved should a child become sick at school. 

     

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  • What if my child is in contact with a child who is confirmed to have COVID-19?

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    • The school will follow health department protocols to determine if a student has been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Exposure is defined as being within six feet of distance for more than 15 minutes. We will contact parents of children who have been exposed.  

     

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  • If a child or teacher tests positive for COVID-19, will the entire class be quarantined?

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    • Employees or students that have a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 verified by the Bear River Health Department (BRHD) will be asked to remain isolated at home under the direction of the BRHD. Individuals exposed to COVID-19 must remain quarantined at home under the direction of the BRHD. 

     

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  • How are teachers supposed to teach if they become ill and need to stay home?

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    • Employees or students that have a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 verified by the Bear River Health Department (BRHD) will be asked to remain isolated at home under the direction of the BRHD. Individuals exposed to COVID-19 are asked to remain quarantined at home. Under state requirements, symptomatic individuals will not be allowed to physically return to school unless their symptoms are not due to a communicable disease as confirmed in writing by a medical provider. 

     

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Instruction

  • What options do we have for instruction/school for the 2020-2021 school year?

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    • For the 2020-2021 school year, we will have two instructional options available for students.
      • In-Person Instruction - Students will attend class in-person as normally scheduled. Elementary students will be assigned a classroom teacher. Middle and high school students will transition between scheduled classes throughout the school day. Students who become ill or who must be isolated at home will participate in remote learning. Teachers will provide schoolwork and opportunities for those students to stay engaged in learning. Regular school hours will be reduced by 45 minutes each day at all campuses to allow for teachers to hold open office hours for both in-person and remote students and to prepare instruction for both of these learning environments.
      • Online School - Students who are unable to attend in-person instruction may choose to participate in the district’s online school for grades K-12. These students will be enrolled in courses based on grade level and credit requirements and will complete all of their coursework and assignments from home.This online school option will not include all of the same class options that students have for in-person instruction, but will include the essentials. For example, K-6 courses will include instruction in English Language Arts (reading and writing), Math, Science, and Library Media/ Digital Citizenship. All K-12 online courses will be taught by a licensed teacher. 

     

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  • Why not just keep kids and teachers home and do online learning as we did in the spring?

    Posted by:
    • The State recognizes the importance that schools play in supporting our economy for working parents, as well as the need for students to be learning and have a meaningful place to be during the work day. Online instruction did not prove to be an ideal method for teaching and learning and meeting the needs of all students and families. 

     

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  • What if we have an outbreak and have to shut schools down again like we did last year?

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    • In a situation where we experience a classroom, school, or district dismissal as directed by the local health department, schools will continue to provide remote learning using a similar pattern as we used in the spring of last year.

     

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  • Is there a deadline for when we can enroll in the online program?

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    • Preregistration is open through August 7th. Parents are encouraged to make a decision by August 7th, so we can begin to staff the online school. However, we will accept registration for online school after August 7th. 

     

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  • Can my child transition from online instruction to in-person instruction during the school year?

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    • Online students can transition back into the classroom. Transitions for elementary students should be able to occur at any time, however, secondary students may be asked to wait on a transfer until mid trimester or the end of a trimester.  

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  • Will the daily schedule in schools change at all due to COVID-19 restrictions?

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    • The school day will be shortened 45 minutes at the end of each day for elementary, middle, and high school students at all campuses. Teachers will be available during this extra time to provide open office hours for both in-person and remote learning students and to prepare instruction for both of these learning environments. 

     

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  • If my child needs to quarantine for two weeks, how are they supposed to keep up with schoolwork?

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    • Students who become ill and are isolated at home or who have been exposed and are in quarantine at home will remain in their current class or class schedule. Teachers will provide schoolwork and opportunities for those students to stay engaged in learning.  This learning environment is referred to as “remote learning”.  

     

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  • What’s the difference between Remote Learning and Online Learning?

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    • Remote Learning - Remote learning is short term and is provided to students who are receiving in-person instruction and become ill or who must be isolated at home. These students will remain in their current class or class schedule. Teachers will provide schoolwork and opportunities for those students to stay engaged in learning.  Remote learning opportunities are available to students enrolled in in-person instruction classes, who for a short time cannot attend in-person.
    • Online Learning - Online learning is provided to students in grades K-12 who are unable to attend in-person instruction. These students will be enrolled in courses based on grade level and credit requirements and will complete all of their coursework and assignments from home. This online learning option will not include all of the same class options that students have for in-person instruction but will include the essentials. Online instruction will be taught by a licensed teacher. K-6 online instruction will be provided through Cache Students Connect. 7-12 online instruction will be provided through Utah Students Connect.

     

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  • Where can I find more information about online instruction?

    Posted by:

    More information regarding online instruction can be found here: Online Instruction Information

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  • What does online school look like for elementary kids, will they have their regular assigned teacher

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    • Elementary online learning for the district will consist of three 20-minute live sessions with a teacher each day: a morning meeting, a reading lesson, and a math lesson. In addition, there will be a weekly science lesson/project and a weekly library experience. Students will have an assigned teacher, but it will not be the same teacher they would have had in a face-to-face classroom.

     

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  • If my child does school online, will they still have the same class options for MS/HS?

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    • Students who are unable to attend in-person instruction may choose to participate in the district’s online school for grades 7-12. These students will be enrolled in courses based on grade level and credit requirements and will complete all of their coursework and assignments from home. This online learning option will not include all of the same class options that students have for in-person instruction but will include the essentials as well as a selection of electives.

     

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  • Will DLI classes be available for online students?

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    • Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs will not be available for online learning. However, we will hold a student’s place in the DLI program once the student returns to in-person instruction.

     

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  • If I choose to allow my kids to do online schooling, will they still qualify for lunches?

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    • Yes, we are working on a method to provide lunches for students in our online school.  Parents would need to pick up meals from a school.

     

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  • If I prefer to homeschool my child, how do we find the Utah requirements for homeschooling?

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Social/Emotional Health for Students