FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
COVID-19 / HEALTH-RELATED
Will masks be expected or REQUIRED?
On July 16, 2020, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson issued an order requiring people to wear face masks in public throughout the state. Please refer to the CDC Guidelines and Recommendations for Face Coverings in School.
Masks will be required for all faculty and staff and students age 10 and up. Masks are expected for students up to age 9. The district sees this as a health issue, not a disciplinary one, but also one of great importance to the safety and well-being of students and staff if we are to keep our schools open. That is why PCSSD provides families with the option to access digital learning for their students from home if they choose not to wear a mask.
Will the district provide masks for the children that cannot afford them or forget them?
Yes, we will have extra masks for students.
Who will be responsible for escorting sick children to the office?
A non-instructional member of the school wellness team will be called to escort a sick student to the nurses’ office if the nurse isn’t available. These persons will be determined by the building principal.
Will students with asthma be allowed to keep inhalers on their person during the school instead of keeping them in the nurse’s office?
A student can carry his/her own inhaler if they can demonstrate the proper and safe use of that inhaler.
How do we ensure that parents are not giving a sick child acetaminophen/ibuprofen before school and sending them anyway?
We cannot ensure this would not happen. However, our expectation is that parents follow CDC guidelines in regards to fevers.
If a student or teacher is infected with COVID, what is the protocol?
Will the entire class be affected?
Yes, we will quarantine the entire class.
Entire school shut down?
It depends on where the student/teacher was located that day.
SCHOOL DAY PROCESS
What does it mean by A/B days?
Students will attend on-campus and remotely using an A and B day configuration. Students who are on the “A” day schedule will attend school on Monday and Tuesday with three days of remote learning. Students who are on the “B” day schedule will attend school on Thursday and Friday with three days of remote learning. Wednesday will be a virtual day for all blended students but they will be able to join their scheduled classes from home. Class offerings will continue as usual. Teachers will engage with students in person and remotely in real-time. There is no semester commitment. Students may transition back to the traditional learning schedule at mid-terms or at the end of the quarter.
Will families with multiple children be able to have their students in class on the same day if we go to blended learning?
Yes, we will keep families who choose blended learning together in the same groups.
How will the students change classes, especially at the secondary level?
Elementary: Teachers will move and students will remain in the classroom to minimize movement. This also applies to departmentalized grades.
Secondary: Classes will have staggered release during class dismissal as well as breakfast and lunch dismissal. Students will distance in the hallway following ADH and CDC guidance where possible.
Will the students have lockers?
Students will not be able to use lockers this year. Instead, all students will be allowed to have backpacks. Secondary students must have mesh/clear backpacks.
How will recess work?
We will follow the CDC guidelines and have a scheduled time for students to be out in groups at 50% capacity of large group gatherings. Furthermore, the CDC issued guidelines on using playground equipment.
How will classrooms be cleaned throughout the day, particularly at the secondary level where students switch classes?
Teachers will pass out cleaning wipes for each student to wipe down his/her area prior to the next group entering the classroom.
Are students required to wear uniforms this year?
Elementary students are required to wear uniforms as outlined in the PCSSD Student Handbook (page 12: https://5il.co/a1mf). Students who attend classes virtually (full time or on their designated online blended days) must dress appropriately in accordance with the dress code policy (see above link). If any student needs assistance with uniforms, you may contact Dr. John McCraney (Coordinator of Multicultural/Equity Services) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the considerations for paras regarding the 20-21 school year? I understand there will be an A-B schedule with onsite instructional support when I will be in the building with my student. What will the paraprofessional’s role be during the off-site days?
Special Education Department Paraprofessionals work under the direction of the building principal and are required to provide instructional support to their assigned student(s) under the direction and supervision of the classroom teachers across multiple learning environments and platforms. Special education paraprofessionals will review and reinforce skills previously introduced by the classroom teachers.
What will be the schedule for online learning?
The schedule for online learning will mirror the school day, but will provide flexibility as needed.
What about “Alpha” programs?
Alpha teachers will provide Talented and Gifted services for identified elementary students. Pull-out classes and whole group Discovery lessons will be scheduled at the local school level according to ADE guidelines. Challenging curriculum and other higher-level thinking/learning experiences will be provided through Blended, Online, and Traditional instructional options. Middle and high school AP and Pre-AP classes will be offered via all instructional options as well.
How will electives take place this year? (choir, band, EAST, PE, art, music, library)
Information about how choir, band, and orchestra will take place can be found on the PCSSD website as well as each school website. Every effort will be made to include additional specialty classes with the understanding that schedules could be modified to help maintain physical distancing. Sites will develop plans allowing students to safely travel to and from specials.
Will the Schoology platform be used even if the parent/student decides not to attend school physically? Or will this be a totally different platform?
Schoology is the learning management platform that every student in the district will use. (Parent Accounts in Schoology)
When will the Interventionists be on campus?
Special Education Interventionists will be onsite to assist students per their IEP. For students who are receiving remote instruction, schedules will be created to ensure students’ needs are met.
Dyslexia Interventionists will be onsite to provide services. For students who are receiving remote instruction, schedules will be created to ensure students’ needs are met.
Instructional Interventionists are hired based on the needs of individual schools. If an interventionist is hired and approved for a school, interventions will begin based on student needs. For students who are receiving remote instruction, schedules will be created to ensure students’ needs are met.
Will the class sizes be smaller?
Yes, classes will be scheduled using ADH and CDC guidance.
How far apart will the desks be in the classroom?
Desks will be arranged using ADH and CDC guidance.
Will there be small group teaching? If so, masks being worn during this time?
Yes, small group teaching will continue. Masks will be required to be worn.
My child attends UA-PTC a half day. How will that work with the new guidelines and schedules?
UAPTC will not be an option for the 2020-2021 school year. As an alternative, students will be given the option to select courses from METRO. Regardless of selection, students will be able to attend METRO. Students who choose remote learning will be able to attend METRO remotely. Students who choose the Blended option or the traditional option will be transported to METRO as in the past.
Do seniors who only need a few credits can just take those courses and not add on unnecessary classes?
All students are expected to maintain a full academic schedule with the exception of high school school students enrolled in the J.A.G. and Marketing work programs.
Will volunteers be allowed in the building at a time?
Yes. Volunteers will be allowed to assist at the schools in various capacities. However, the number of volunteers will be limited in numbers and only be allowed. Every volunteer must complete the same screening process as staff and will be required to wear face coverings.
Can parents escort PreK or Kindergarten children to the classroom during the first week of classes?
Parents will not be allowed to escort students to the class during that first week of classes.
Will after school care be offered?
Aftercare will be offered, however, the number of participants will be limited.
How will aftercare be set up to maintain distance and contamination?
All CDC and ADH guidelines will be followed in the aftercare program.
Will pre-k be provided a laptop for blended learning options?
Pre-K students are funded by the ABC grant and currently do not have mobile devices. Pre-K students who receive special education services from the Early Childhood Special Education Department will be provided access to a device if needed.
Will students who choose to do the online option get a Chromebook?
Regardless of the option chosen, each PCSSD student in grades K-12 will receive a Chromebook.
Time schedule to pick up badges and Chromebook
All students will have a scheduled pick up time to receive a Chromebook prior to the start of school.
How will you handle the flow of traffic at drop off and pick up?
Students will be dismissed from their classrooms based on the bus schedule. As buses arrive on campus, students will be released to their assigned bus. Car riders will be dismissed from a separate entry/exit to leave for the day.
What will the bus schedule be for students?
Buses will drop off at all elementary schools at 7:15am
7:30-2:30 (School Day)
4:05 (School Day)
4:00 (School Day)
4:05 (School Day)
4:10 (School Day)
4:10 (School Day)
4:05 (School Day)
4:05 (School Day)
4:10 (School Day)
4:10 (School Day)
Students will wear masks on buses.
Seating on buses will be assigned to create physical distancing.
Students will utilize district-provided hand sanitizer at the service door of each bus.
Students will sit one to a seat but students from the same household will be allowed to sit on the same seat.
Some additional bus stops will be assigned.
Students will be encouraged to maintain a distance of 6 feet apart while waiting on the bus to arrive.
Bus drivers and aides will be required to wear face-coverings or masks. A face shield may be considered based on working with students with special needs.
Will kids be allowed to bring their own lunch from home?
Yes. However, in order to control outside visitors at lunchtime, PCSSD will not allow parents/guardians to bring outside food in for students (Example: McDonald’s, pizza, etc.).
Will students be able to eat in the cafeteria?
Yes, students will be able to eat in the cafeteria in smaller groups. Breakfast and lunch will be served in classrooms, cafeteria, alternative areas, and outside areas, if available and appropriate.
How will cafeteria meals be established?
The district plans to provide hot meals for lunch in elementary schools. Secondary students have the option of chef salad, grab and go sandwich meal, or a hot meal.
Will the cafeteria be sanitized between each lunch period?
Yes. The cafeteria will be sanitized between each lunch period.
Will the students sit 6ft. apart In The cafeteria?
Yes. All efforts will be made to physically distance the students.
Will any student be able to participate in extracurricular activities and sports?
Yes. Any student, no matter which instructional option they choose, will be allowed to participate in sports and extracurricular activities as long as they meet the grade and attendance eligibility requirements set forth by the AAA Handbook.
Will field trips be an option this year?
Field trips will not be an option at this time.
How will the district work with teachers who are susceptible and have underlying conditions?
Employees who may be susceptible or with possible underlying health conditions are urged to contact their immediate supervisor and the Human Resources administrator to discuss their options. The appropriate medical documentation will be required for review in an effort to address the employee’s health concerns while maintaining operations.
How will teachers be supported if a student we come in contact within our classroom has exposed us to COVID? How will we be supported as far as to pay and subs when we’re forced to enter into quarantine?
Employees will be supported through possible COVID exposure and must maintain confidentiality. Sharing names of students who are confirmed, suspected, or diagnosed is not permissible. Employees who may be exposed will be paid through the quarantine period of approximately 14 days.