Frequently Asked Questions (last updated August 7, 2020)
General School Reopening
Has KLSD decided if it will open in a fully in-person model, hybrid model, or remote model?
Based on Governor Cuomo's August 7th announcement, if coronavirus transmission rates remain at current low levels, we should be able to open in September. Given current requirements for social distancing, we could only open in the hybrid model in light of space and staffing constraints. Please see the reopening plan on our website for more details.
When is the first day of school for students?
The first day of school for students will be Thursday, September 10. More information will follow about whether there will be in-person learning on this day and, if so, which students will report to school.
When students are in school, how will their experience be similar and different from school in more “typical” times?
Many things about the classroom environment will remain the same. Our teachers will welcome students as they always do – with warmth and encouragement. They will engage students in meaningful, standards-based learning, address anxieties, and find ways to have them engage with peers. Of course, there will be significant differences to the physical environment. K-12, all classroom desks (following guidance from NYS) will be set up in rows facing the same direction and separated by at least 6 feet. At the secondary level, students can expect to stay in their desks for the duration of class periods. In the elementary schools, students will remain in their primary teacher’s classroom for the day, although they will be provided with movement breaks. In hallways, students will see signs reminding them to keep 6 feet apart and arrows on the floors specifying the direction of traffic. Students will see hand sanitizing stations in classrooms and hallways and our youngest students will have scheduled handwashing breaks.
Schedules and Instruction
If school opens in September, how many days per week will my child attend in-person?
Our current planning has all students K-12 attending school at least 2 days per week. Students in grades K and 1 will attend 4 days per week. Some special education and English language learner students will attend 4 days per week. These plans may evolve as conditions and guidance change. The number of students we can bring in is determined by space, health and safety considerations, and staffing. As we learn more about parents’ intentions (to send their children or not), we will have a better sense of whether any adjustments are possible.
Will I have the option to keep my child home full-time and still participate fully in the District’s educational offerings?
New York State has not mandated that schools provide a fully remote option (assuming the District is open for an in-person or hybrid model), other than in those cases where medical vulnerability or some other vulnerability necessitates a student staying home. Nonetheless, we are designing our instructional models to maximize the available opportunities for students who are home full-time. At this time, however, we are not able to say that the available experience will be equivalent to those who attend school in-person in a hybrid model. We continue to survey our community to understand how many plan to stay home. If the numbers allow us to dedicate staff, then we hope to increase the scope of offerings to those who are home full-time. As soon as we know more, we will inform the community.
What is the difference between remote learning and homeschooling? Will I be homeschooling if I wish to keep my child at home this fall?
Homeschooling is a process governed by New York State regulations. When students are homeschooled, they follow a curriculum, designed by the parent/guardian, that must be equivalent to the curriculum required by NYS public schools and that keeps students on track for meeting state standards. Homeschooled students are not officially enrolled in the school district. As a result, they do not have access to district resources such as textbooks and software. They also would not have access to remote instruction from our teachers. Families are responsible for teaching and assessing their children, with plans and updates submitted to the Office of Curriculum and Instruction regularly. Grades for homeschooled students do not appear on KLSD transcripts.
On the other hand, students who participate remotely in our program remain enrolled in the district and have access to our resources. Our current plan provides for full remote instruction in the event that all students must stay home and, when required by NYSED guidance, for those students who have (or live with someone who has) underlying health conditions or who have other vulnerabilities. As we receive further clarification from NYSED and updated responses from our families, we will be better able to describe any additional remote opportunities that we can offer to families who wish to keep their children at home.
If I decide to homeschool my child, what is the process for notifying the District and what else do I need to do?
Families who intend to homeschool their child(ren) should contact Jeane Stein in the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be provided with necessary paperwork and next steps.
In the hybrid model, when students are at home, will there be opportunities for learning that are not reliant on technology?
As we design experiences for the fall, off-screen experiences are an important consideration. This is true for all students and especially for our youngest learners. Our re-entry committee members have been discussing the kinds of materials they would want students to use on days of remote learning. Although our teachers need time to make final decisions for their grades and subjects, the initial list includes independent reading books, math manipulatives, workbooks, art supplies, musical instruments and materials for some science labs. When students are not with the teacher, there will be a mix of online and offline activities. And when we are fortunate enough to be together in school, our goal is to make the most of in-person time by prioritizing meaningful interactions like class discussions, direct teacher instruction, and community building activities.
When kindergarten and first grade students are with a supervising adult other than their classroom teacher for part of the day, will they be on a device during that time?
We envision that the majority of this time would be spent working on independent or small group work that is designed by the classroom teacher and not on devices. The supervising adult would provide guidance and feedback while the students work on these assignments. Our kindergarten and first grade teachers will design this work for their students, and the district will provide professional development to support those who may be supervising. There may be a part of this time that is spent on a device, but our goal is to make the most of in-person time when we have it.
What will be available for students who attend BOCES programs?
At this time, P/NW BOCES is still developing its models for in-person and remote instruction. As soon as we know more, we will share with our KLSD families.
Health and Safety
When students return to school, will face coverings be required?
Yes, based on current guidance from NYS Department of Health and the latest scientific findings related to coronavirus. Face coverings will be required on buses and in schools. In schools, mask breaks will be provided and, of course, students will remove them while eating. The only exceptions to the face covering rule will be in individual cases upon a notice from a family physician that a student’s health would be compromised by a face covering.
When students return to school, will all their regular immunizations/vaccines be required?
Yes, just as they would be in any other school year.
When students return to school, will social distancing be required?
Yes. Our classrooms will be set up with desks and chairs separated by 6 feet in all directions. During transitional times (at start and end of day and between classes), signs and supervision will require students and staff to maintain social distance to the greatest extent possible.
Will students and staff be required to complete a health screener (including temperature check) before they go to school each day?
Yes. We are working to provide a digital resource that will require students (or their parents) and staff to complete a daily health questionnaire. Questions would relate to COVID-19 symptoms (including temperature) and travel to identified hot spots. Positive responses to any of the questions and/or a temperature above a certain threshold will require student or staff member to stay at home.
What happens if students or staff have travelled to one of the states or countries that requires quarantine upon return to NYS?
Students and staff will be required to report on a daily basis any travel to identified areas. They will be required to follow current NYS regulations related to quarantine and will not be allowed in school until such quarantine period is completed.
What will happen if a student or staff members shows symptoms of COVID-19 in school?
A student would be immediately moved to the dedicated isolation area (in close proximity to the school nurse’s office) and seen by the school nurse. Parents/guardians would be contacted immediately to take the child home. Strict social distancing and mask wearing would be adhered to for as long as the student remains in the building. If parents/guardians are not available for transporting and depending on severity/nature of symptoms, KLSD’s medical director would be consulted and 911 may be used to transport student to local medical facility if deemed necessary. Families should contact their health care provider for assessment and testing. An individual who does not wish to be tested should instead isolate for 14 days and until asymptomatic.
A staff member would notify appropriate administrator so that coverage can be provided. Staff member would see school nurse. If symptoms are confirmed, staff member would immediately leave the building. Staff member would contact their health care provider for assessment and testing. An individual who does not wish to be tested would instead isolate for 14 days and until asymptomatic.
What happens if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
The student or staff member must remain at home (except to get medical care), monitor their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from Westchester County Department of Health. For most people who have relatively mild illness, they will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms.
If it is determined that the individual was in school while positive, the District will immediately contact our Medical Director and the Westchester County Department of Health to get the most current guidance on contact tracing, on determining which parts of the school need to be closed and cleaned, and which cohorts of students and staff need to stay home for quarantine.
Should I buy my child a computer in preparation for remote learning?
KLSD will provide a device (either a laptop or tablet) to every student K-12. Devices will be consistent across each grade level. These devices will be distributed either prior to the start of school, or on the first day students attend in-person. More information will follow.
Will face coverings and social distancing be required on school buses?
Face Coverings will be required at all times on school buses, with the only exception being for a student who is unable to wear a face for medically documented reasons. Social distancing will be required to the extent practical for all students. For students unable to wear a face covering, six-foot social distancing will be strictly enforced.