Springville Reopening Plan, Frequently Asked Questions
When will we know if schools are reopening for any face-to-face/hybrid instruction, or if schools will need to be fully remote teaching and learning?
Governor Cuomo has indicated by Friday, August 7, he will decide whether or not it is safe to reopen schools. The decision is anticipated to be made by the Governor (rather than a regional or local decision). As soon as we learn of this decision, we will communicate with families.
When will we know if our children are the Purple or Gold group? What if our family needs a change based on our own work or child care schedules?
Principals are working feverishly to develop their schedules over the coming weeks. We will send a letter home in the second week of August, after we learn Governor Cuomo’s reopening plan. If your family needs a change to your scheduled group due to child care or work schedules, please contact the building principal. Remember, we are scheduling based on family, household groups to accommodate family needs.
My child is medically fragile or part of a vulnerable health population. How do I get a 504 Plan for accommodations for my child?
Children who are medically complex, who have neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than other children. Further, students with special needs or students who are medically fragile may not be able to maintain social distancing, hand or respiratory hygiene, or wear a face covering or mask. It is important for parents/ guardians to work with their child’s healthcare providers so that an informed decision can be made on how best to meet the child’s needs at school while protecting their health and safety. From there, contact your child’s building principal t o request a 504 Plan, if needed.
If a student/staff member tests positive, what happens? Will school close? Will we be quarantined?
We will work with the Erie County Department of Health and our School Medical Director, Dr. Robbin Hansen. We acknowledge we are educators; not medical professionals and we will follow the recommendations of our trusted medical professionals. To that end, if someone in our school tests positive, we immediately notify our school physician and the DOH. We will work with the DOH to aid in contact tracing and to determine next steps. We will then follow their recommendations and will communicate with families under the advice of the DOH.
What are the anticipated class sizes?
Based on our enrollment numbers to date and our hybrid plans to bring in half of our students on Monday/Tuesday with the other half on Thursday/Friday, we anticipate 7-12 students per class.
How much of the school day must students wear face coverings? What will the frequency of mask breaks be?
Our first priority is creating a safe environment for both our students and our staff. Whenever feasible, we will layer as many safety precautions as possible including wearing of face masks and 6 ft. of distance between individuals. There are times when students and staff must wear a mask:
- On the school bus;
- Entering/exiting the building;
- Traveling through the building/hallways;
- Whenever 6 ft. social distancing cannot be maintained;
- In classrooms except for designated mask breaks (see note below). In a typical classroom, a teacher is circulating the room, checking on students’ work and progress and having 1:1 conversations with students. Standing at the front of the room lecturing is not the most efficient teaching method. Additionally, students have movement within classrooms (to get up and sharpen a pencil or to get a tissue, for example). The balance between creating a comfortable classroom environment where students are not forced to remain in their seats for extended periods and the scientifically proven safety that comes with wearing a face covering is a delicate balance. Therefore, it is anticipated students will be wearing face coverings while in their classrooms except for designated mask breaks. At minimum, a break of 10 minutes every 45 minutes will be provided. Students will remove masks while eating breakfast and/or lunch.
Are face shields acceptable instead of a cloth face mask?
The guidance from both the NYS Department of Health and NYS Department of Education indicate face coverings (i.e., cloth face masks which cover the nose and mouth) are acceptable barriers. If your child has medical, behavioral and/or special education needs that do not permit him/her to wear a face covering, please contact your child’s school principal so all available accommodations can be considered.
Can I choose remote learning for my child?
Pursuant to the NYS Department of Education (NYSED) and the Department of Health (DOH), schools are expected to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction. Springville’s plan prioritizes this effort while putting in place the safeguards set forth in the guidance from both NYSED and DOH. Therefore, our plan offered a limited full remote learning option for families, with a deadline to submit a commitment form to remote by Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Students of families selecting full remote in grades 7-12 will have a full secondary education provided remotely through Erie 1 BOCES, who have created a full remote option to serve the needs of small schools like ours. The full remote learning option for primary students is still being determined and will be updated when complete.
Will recess, outdoor learning and playground use be allowed?
Yes! We will encourage outdoor time as much as possible and as much as our WNY weather allows! In addition to physical education classes going outdoors, teachers will be encouraged to take classes outdoors as much as feasible. Activities such as journal writing, music and art classes, and independent reading are a few examples of learning activities that can easily be done outdoors and socially distanced where additional breaks from wearing face coverings can be provided. Playgrounds will be open for use. Hand sanitizing upon entering and exiting of the playground area will be standard practice.