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Frequently Asked Questions for Reopening Schools 2020

July 26, 2020

Reopening Plan Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What plan (green, yellow, or red) will we start the school year in?
A: It depends on the COVID-19 information we have the week before the actual starting date. At this time the first day of school is listed as August 12th. If it is decided to delay the start of school, the information must be re-evaluated. This week, positive COVID-19 cases in Douglas and Jefferson Counties showed a decline. As we know, this can easily change next week. We collaborate weekly with health officials in Douglas and Jefferson counties.  
Q: What information will be used to move between the green, yellow, or red plans?
A: Health officials (both counties) will provide data and recommendations on COVID-19. This would include new cases, recovery rates, hospitalization rates, death rates, and other information.  
Q: Will backpacks be allowed in schools?
A: Yes, backpacks will be allowed as a way to reduce locker usage.
Q: Are students enrolled in the USD 343's virtual program allowed to participate in extracurricular activities?
A: Currently, no. However, the Board of Education will review this policy to determine if it should be changed. 
Q: Will USD 343 release information confirming the number of positive cases in the district or the building?  
A: It is our understanding USD #343 cannot release that information. However, either of the County Health Departments could release that information. Once the Health Department releases the information, the District can share it with parents. 
Q: What possibilities can be used to make-up missed days or hours due to starting late or the non-school days in the yellow plan?
A: Days can be added to the end of the year, scheduled breaks can be shortened, (but the teacher's negotiated agreement must be maintained), and time can be added to the school day. We would need to determine how many hours are to be made up before we add days or time. We need to be very cautious about adding time to the school day. Currently, we have students on the bus as early as 6:30. Too long of a school day would be hard on our younger, elementary students. Our current negotiated agreement with teachers limits the contract day to eight hours with a limit of six hours and twenty minutes of student contact (teaching).   
Q: Can parents change from in-person to remote learning or from remote to in-person after we start the school year.  
A: Changing from one model to the other after the start of the school year is highly discouraged. Our full-time virtual option could have a different pace of curriculum than our in-class options. We are asking parents to make a choice prior to the first day of school and maintain that education choice for the full semester. 
Q: What are the plans for choir and band classes?
A: The advice we have received as of July 20th, is we can have both classes, but we are encouraged to use outdoor space if weather permits.  
Q: How would the hybrid or 50/50 plan work if a family has more than one child and they are in different buildings?
A: We would split the two student groups by geography. This would allow families to have the same school schedule.
Q: Will kids get to have Physical Education, Band, Choir?
A: It is possible to have all of these classes provided we can maintain social distancing. This can be easily accomplished by using outdoor settings as much as possible.
Q: What is the plan for students with an IEP or who may need additional resources? Do these students get support if they choose the virtual school/program?
A: Students with an IEP will continue to receive all services as specified in their IEP. This could include meeting with resources teachers in-person or small groups. It could also include online meeting times with the resource teacher. Providing accommodations in an online setting can be challenging, but it can be done. For specific guidance with your student, we would recommend contacting the building principal to review the IEP and concerns. 
Q: Which health department will we follow, Douglas or Jefferson County?  
A: Because we have school buildings in both counties, we must follow the guidance from both counties.
Q: What happens if there is an outbreak in one school? Do all schools close?
A: If there is an outbreak in one of our school buildings, we assume we would receive direction to close that school building by the local or state health department. Students in this school building could move to the "red" plan to receive instruction online, while other buildings remain open. An outbreak on a larger scale may require all buildings to close. We would follow guidance from local and state health departments.  


Q: Will the school provide masks for students?

A: The school can provide up to five (5) masks for students who are not able to provide their own. We anticipate many students will want to wear their own masks due to comfort and style. All masks must cover the mouth and nose, be school appropriate, and meet CDC guidelines. https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/DocumentCenter/View/492/Children-and-Masks-PDF---4-14-20?bidId=  

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