Return to School 2020-2021 FAQ’s

Thank you to all of those who submitted questions via the online form.  We received over 500 questions.  This FAQ page was developed in an effort to recognize and answer commonly asked questions and topics.  Please be aware that the situation we find ourselves in is unprecedented and fluid.  While we are providing this page as a guide there is a chance the situation around a question/issue will change.  We will make every effort to keep this page up to date and add more questions and their answers as time goes on.

This FAQ page is a work in progress and will be updated and added to over the next few days and weeks.

The 2020-2021 Return to School proposed plan is located – HERE

TRSB Public Forum on the Return to School – Transcript of Answered Questions 8/11/2020

Update on Preschool and Kindergarten Tuition – 8/20/2020


Metrics

Question: What metrics will be used to determine which instructional model we operate in?

Please refer to this document:

Considerations for Transitioning Between School Instructional Models Based on Level of Community COVID-19 Transmission and Impact on Local Schools


Scheduling Monthly/Daily

Example Elementary Schedules – Click Here

Question: When is the first day of school for students?

Answer: September 8th

Question: What are the start and end times for in person and remote learning at both the secondary and elementary levels?

School hours will be followed in both models.  Office hours and time to connect with individual students or small groups have been built in.  This allows for flexibility of when formal instruction begins and ends.   

Question: Will my children be able to go from remote to hybrid after the first trimester/semester?

At this time, we intend to survey families again for their preferred option.

Question: Will all students within a family go to school on the same days?

Students will be distributed into cohort 1 and cohort 2, balancing classes as much as possible. We will make every attempt to schedule siblings across all grade levels in the same cohort, unless there is a specific family request to separate siblings into different cohorts.

Question: How will CTE work?

We are making every effort to have students still able to attend CTE at either Pinkerton or Salem.  We will work with students and their schedules to figure out the courses they need to take at TRHS and look into the transportation needs of the students. 

Question: Any info on music program? For both hybrid classes and remote learning.

Music classes will still be offered and scheduled in both the blended model and the remote only model.  

Question: Will students be staying in the same classrooms as day?  Does it vary by grade?

It varies by grade.  Secondary students will follow their schedule with classroom changes through the day.  


Before/After School

Question: If the Countryside program is not running at Atkinson Academy, will bussing be provided to/from Plaistow YMCA for families that require it?

Yes, AA will have bus transportation to YMCA.  Students will need a bus pass from the office.

Question: What will fall sports look like?

The NHIAA has moved the fall sports start date to September 8th.  The NHIAA sport specific committees are creating additional safety guidelines related to each individual sport.  Schedules will need to be adjusted to account for the shortened season.

Question: If students chose to be remote will they be allowed to participate in sports?

Yes, all remote students are eligible to participate in sports.


Technology/Resources

Question: Will appropriate devices be provided to students for blended or remote learning?

Yes, the district is going to be providing devices for every student in this district.  Preschool and Pre-K will get tablets, Kindergarten will receive touchscreen chromebooks, and grades 1 through 12th will get normal chromebooks.  Grades 7-12 already have received Chromebooks through the dedicated device program in previous years.  Although the district ordered devices to provide a dedicated device to every student in the elementary level in addition to entering 6th and 9th graders before the end of last year there are extreme shipping delays with Chromebooks this year.  We don’t have an ETA on when they will arrive and it is possible that we will need to augment family owned devices in grades K-6 like we did in the spring for the beginning of the school year.

Question: Will Google Meet or Zoom be used for video conferencing?

The district will be procuring Zoom for Education for this 2020-2021 school year.  Teachers will be able to use either Zoom or Google Meet for video conferencing.

Question: What will happen if students are having bandwidth issues with multiple users at home?

On the Covid-19 resource page there is a link to a list of low cost Internet providers from the state  that can be contacted to help increase bandwidth if needed.

List of Low Cost Internet Providers – Click Here

Question:   Do we currently have Instant Messaging available?  I think it’s critical for kids to be able IM friends for social interaction and I think it would be super helpful for students to be able to IM teachers as well.

The district currently does not have a dedicated IM platform for use between educators and students.  Teachers and students can communicate via emails and also via the stream in Google Classrooms.  The stream feature in Classroom enables group wide or direct student to teacher communications.

Question: Chromebooks — can they be connected to larger monitors and multiple monitors?  If so, please advise on the cable required.  Can students use Zoom from a personal PC (connect from Google Classroom?) or must it be from Chromebook?

Chromebooks can use supported monitors (most models) and typically use a HDMI cable to connect to them.  Students can log into Zoom or Google Meet on a personal PC through the Chrome browser (free download).  They need to log into their TRSD Google account in Chrome.

Question: What platform will be used for remote learning?

Google Classroom will be used again in grades K-12.  Preschool and Pre-K will be using a more age appropriate platform called SeeSaw.  More information on SeeSaw will be made available to those parents soon.

Question: Would you explain why we are sticking with Google Classroom when the state is giving away 3 years of the Canvas learning management system?

 The decision to stay with Google Classroom was the result of a staff survey that went out in June.  Most felt on that survey that moving to a new Learning Management System with everything else going on would be a tall task not only for them but also the students and parents.  We will be investigating Canvas as well as Schoology (Powerschool’s LMS) in the coming year with the goal of moving to a new LMS for 2021-2022 when sufficient notification and training is given to staff and made available to parents as well.  SeeSaw is being used this year for Preschool and Pre-K.

Question: What technology are we using for the teachers to do synchronized broadcast? 

The teachers will be using integrated cameras in laptops and/or document cameras.  The district is also investigating pricing on mounted cameras and microphones in classrooms.

Question: Unexpected costs are abound in this environment.  What was predicted in May or June in the budget may no longer be adequate now.  When thinking about remote instruction specifically,  at this point one of the only “knowns”, what additional funding will the district require?  How do we plan to secure funding for items such as subscriptions to sites (such as Seesaw) and devices that were not anticipated earlier?

We are investigating using CARES funds for software subscriptions and additional classroom or personal devices if needed.


Protocols/Practices

Question: What precautions are being put into the schools to help ensure cleanliness and safety? 

Facilities is currently working in conjunction with school administrators on a cleaning schedule according to the academic schedules.  In the facilities department our main focus is cleanliness and sanitizing.

Question: How many weeks of hand sanitizer refills do we have in stock? Are there any concerns about running out? I commend facilities on getting a jump start on the signage and making it age appropriate and storing the furniture outside.

We  currently have in stock enough Sanitizer and Hand Soap for several months.  We are continuing to purchase both to exceed the demand.  The district has also purchased individual sanitizer for each teachers desk if staff or students should require it.

Question: What is the protocol around masks?

Please see this document HERE.


Transportation and Parking (HS)

Question: Will transportation be provided to and from school and how will that look?

Yes, bus transportation will be provided for those who need it.  Routes will be developed according to # of students attending on blended days to maintain reduced capacity. 

Question: How many students will be riding the bus at one time?

We are following CDC guidelines which allows one per seat every other seat.  Siblings will sit together.  This will allow between 13 – 20 students per bus.  It may be possible if need arises to put one per seat which would then allow 24 – 30 students per bus. Students will wear masks when waiting for and at all times on the bus

Question: Please walk through what happens if a school bus driver does not pass the health check.

First Student and DSS are screening their drivers daily before they enter the bus.  If a driver is found to have symptoms they will do self quarantine and need to have testing before returning.  Spare drivers will be utilized as much as possible.  In the event there is no driver for a route parents will be notified so they can seek alternate transportation.  Consideration will be given to students who have no other means to get to school which means another bus may pick them up if room is available or a bus will be sent for them when one is available to get them to school albeit late.

Question: How will parents and students be notified if a bus is late due to needing to find a last minute driver if the primary driver fails the health check?

A message will be sent from school to parents using the Alert System as much as possible.

Question: Will all students at a bus stop have to have their masks on in order for the driver to open the school bus door? How will mask wearing be enforced on the bus?

A mask at a bus stop should be required if students can not practice social distancing.  Students should have a mask on before entering the school bus and go directly to their seat.  We ask parents to teach their children that masks are required and must be worn at all times.  If a student cannot comply they may lose bus privileges.

Question: What will transportation to the Salem CTE look like?

Please see this attachment – Salem CTE Bussing 2020-2021

 

Upcoming Events

Events on November 24, 2020
Budget Committee Meeting
Starts: 7:00 pm
Location: Videoconference
Events on November 25, 2020
Thansgiving Break - No School
Starts: 12:00 am
Events on December 1, 2020
Curriculum & Assessment Committee Meeting
Starts: 4:00 pm
Location: Zoom Webinar