The following videos provide additional background information on the school year ahead.
Follow this link to view the Reopening Framework Summary: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15XVPeSqu5lo8eg9afmOL47gTLP60-I2X/view?usp=sharing
Please follow this link to view Heuvelton Central School District's Reopening Plan: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1P76aQ_Bjkosh8dv7zGnwozh23lPy4cLa/view?usp=sharing
SLCPHD ResourcesThe St. Lawrence County Public Health Department has put together some resources for the community, please click the links below to view the files.
- Quarantine vs Isolation
- COVID-19 Symptoms - What to Watch For
- Contact Tracing
- Coronavirus Testing Basics
- Symptoms of COVID-19
- COVID-19 FAQs for Schools Prek-12th Grade
- Protocol for symptomatic or Positive Cases
Testing, Tracing, Remote Learning Plans
Testing: According to New York State Department of Health: (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing#can-i-be-tested-) As New York State aggressively expands COVID-19 diagnostic testing capacity, the Department of Health has revised guidance to increase testing for frontline workers, including all first responders, health care workers, and essential employees who interact with the public, while continuing to prioritize resources. Testing for COVID-19 shall be authorized by a health care provider for individuals who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- An individual is symptomatic or has a history of symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, and/or trouble breathing), particularly if the individual is 70 years of age or older, the individual has a compromised immune system, or the individual has an underlying health condition; or
- An individual has had close (i.e. within six feet) or proximate contact with a person known to be positive with COVID-19; or
- An individual is subject to a precautionary or mandatory quarantine; or
- An individual is employed as a health care worker, first responder, or other essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working; or
- An individual presents with a case where the facts and circumstances – as determined by the treating clinician in consultation with state or local department of health officials – warrant testing; or
- An individual is included under other criteria set by the NYS Dept. of Health based on an individual's geographic place of residence, occupation, or other factors that the Department may deem relevant for COVID-19 testing purposes; or
- Any individual who would return to workplace in Phase 1 .
Testing in Schools
Universal SARS-CoV-2 testing of all students and staff in school settings has not been systematically studied. It is not known if testing in school settings provides any additional reduction in person-to-person transmission of the virus beyond what would be expected with implementation of other infection preventive measures (e.g., social distancing, cloth face covering, hand washing, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting). Therefore, CDC does not currently recommend universal testing of all students and staff. Implementation of a universal approach to testing in schools may pose challenges, such as the lack of infrastructure to support routine testing and follow up in the school setting, unknown acceptability of this testing approach among students, parents, and staff, lack of dedicated resources, practical considerations related to testing minors and potential disruption in the educational environment.
Types of Tests:
Viral tests approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are recommended to diagnose current infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Viral tests evaluate whether the virus is present in a respiratory sample. Results from these tests help public health officials identify and isolate people who are infected in order to minimize SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
Antibody tests approved or authorized by the FDA are used to detect a past infection with SARS-CoV-2. CDC does not currently recommend using antibody testing as the sole basis for diagnosing current infection. Depending on when someone was infected and the timing of the test, the test may not find antibodies in someone with a current COVID-19 infection. In addition, it is not currently proven whether a positive antibody test indicates protection against future SARS-CoV-2 infection; therefore, antibody tests should not be used at this time to determine if someone is immune.
CDC recommendations for SARS-CoV-2 testing are based on what is currently known about the virus SARS-CoV-2 and what is known about it continues to change rapidly. Information on testing for SARS-CoV-2 will be updated as more information becomes available.
- Employees may be required to furnish a negative test result prior to returning to work.
- A note from a healthcare provider denoting a negative test result may be required to be provided to the HR office prior to returning.
- Testing may also be required prior to the return from school breaks of greater than 3 days.
- If an employee receives a positive test result, they must immediately notify their supervisor and follow all orders from the Public Health Department and furnish a negative result before returning.
- Testing for COVID-19 is covered under the St. Lawrence-Lewis School District Employees' Medical Plan.
New York State continues to increase testing capacity for COVID-19 on a daily basis. The guidance below enables New York State to prioritize resources to meet the public health need. Individuals who have questions regarding eligibility or access for testing should call the New York State COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or visit the NYSDOH website https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov.
Please call the testing site or your health care provider before you go for testing.
- If you go to a test site run by New York State, there is never any charge for your test.
- If you go to a test site operated by local governments, private companies including pharmacies and medical practices or not-for-profit organizations, you are advised to check with the testing site and your insurer in advance of being tested to confirm you will not be responsible for any fees associated with your test.
Contact tracing will be conducted by the department of health to limit the community spread of COVID-19. Districts/BOCES should take steps to make contact tracing easier for Public Health workers. Districts/BOCES should keep a log of any visitors to their buildings, which includes the individual’s name, the time they arrived and left, their intended destination in the building, and their phone number which may be provided to Public Health officials for contact tracing purposes.
- Districts/BOCES should also ensure that employees use their issued badges/fobs to “swipe in” to gain access to the building so that a timestamped record of entry is maintained.Tracing will be conducted by Public Health for close contacts (any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) of laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients.
- Tracing functions in the following ways:
- For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
- The public health evaluation of close contacts to patients with laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 may vary depending on the exposure setting. Contacts in special populations and/or congregate settings require additional considerations and may need handoff to a senior health department investigator or special team.
- Remote communications for the purposes of case investigation and contact tracing should be prioritized; in-person communication may be considered only after remote options have been exhausted.
- Testing is recommended for all close contacts of confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients.
- Those contacts who test positive (symptomatic or asymptomatic) should be managed as a confirmed COVID-19 case.
- Asymptomatic contacts testing negative should self-quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure (i.e., close encounter with confirmed or probable COVID-19 case)
- If testing is not available, symptomatic close contacts should self-isolate and be managed as a probable COVID-19 case.
- If testing is not available, asymptomatic close contacts should self-quarantine and be monitored for 14 days after their last exposure, with linkage to clinical care for those who develop symptoms.
Remote Learning Plans
Continuity of Learning Plan
The Heuvelton Central School District has created a continuity of learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year. The plan includes in-person, remote, and hybrid models of instruction. These models are detailed below.
New York State Learning Standards
- The Heuvelton Central School District will provide instruction aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.
- Teachers will work collaboratively to identify priority learning standards.
- Teachers of common grade levels and courses will plan collaboratively to ensure lessons are aligned to the learning standards.
Regular Substantive Interaction
- The continuity of learning plan includes opportunities for all students to have regular substantive interaction with certified teachers. This will be accomplished in the following ways:
- The foundation of our virtual learning plan will be asynchronous instruction with intentional, scheduled time for interactions with certified teachers.
- Recorded video will be used with frequent opportunities for students to process information or practice skills built in.
- Students will submit work, and teachers will provide written and verbal feedback via SeeSaw or Google Classroom.
- Students will participate in virtual interactions during at-home virtual learning. These interactions will provide opportunities for students and teachers to interact and for students to interact with classmates.
- In order to ensure all students receive an equitable program, Heuvelton Central School District will:
- Prioritize learning standards for each grade level and subject area.
- Plan intentional, scheduled time for grade level/content area teams to work together collaboratively on curriculum and content.
- Use the same materials for all students. The remote learning plan will serve as the backbone for the instructional plan. Teachers will be planning for in-person and at-home learning using a common template to ensure cohorts are working on the same learning targets. The assigned activities may be different, but the objectives will be the same for all students.
- Communication with families will be accomplished through a variety of means.
- Most families have active email addresses in our student management system. Throughout the summer, clerical staff will contact families in order to update email contact information.
- District newsletters will be sent electronically and also posted on the district’s social media channels.
- Teachers will communicate directly with families via SeeSaw and Google Classroom.
Communication: Clear and consistent communications with stakeholders are vital to successful implementation. The Heuvelton Central School District will strive to ensure all parent contact information is up to date. Parents and students sat on the School Reopening Committee, which was involved in the creation of the Continuity of Learning Plan. Feedback was also gathered from families, students, and staff through surveys, which informed the plan.
Daily student attendance will be taken by the students classroom/homeroom teacher. Whether students are present in school or learning from home, the teacher is responsible for documenting daily interaction.
Access to Technology: All students in the Heuvelton Central School District have been provided with a Chromebook to use at home during remote learning. A survey was conducted to determine internet accessibility, and administrators worked with individual families to arrange for connectivity, as needed.
At Heuvelton Central School, we will use SeeSaw, and Google Classroom as a Learning Management System and parent communication tool.
Professional Development: Professional Development was provided throughout the spring and summer, including the use of instructional technology tools.
Feedback Loops: Last spring, students and parents were surveyed about what worked well during remote instruction and what could be improved upon. This feedback was used to inform the Continuity of Instruction plan.
Contingency Planning: All students will be learning remotely one day a week this school year. This will allow students and families to gain familiarity with the Learning Management Systems and technology tools teachers employ on a regular basis if schools have to close. Time will be devoted to explicit instruction in the use of these tools during the first weeks of school.
The district has established expectations for teachers reflecting best practices for remote instruction.
Fully remote learning with more standardization. This would happen should additional full closures occur.
- Students will receive daily online instruction primarily asynchronously with scheduled synchronous opportunities through office hours five days a week provided by the classroom teacher.
- It is important to note that the workload of an at-home learner will be the same quantity/rigor as if they were in person at school.
- Each student will be provided with a device. Teachers will use Seesaw or Google Classroom to deliver assignments to students and communicate with students and families.
- Teachers will meet with students at scheduled times during the day.
- Assignments will be graded and assessments will need to be completed regularly to assess student learning similar to in-person learning.
Through the coordinated effort of SLL BOCES and teachers throughout the region, priority standards will be identified and prioritized for teachers to guide their curriculum planning for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Teachers will prioritize the most critical prerequisite skills and content knowledge for each subject area and grade level.
- Teachers will diagnose students’ unfinished learning for the prioritized prerequisite content knowledge and skills.
- Scope and sequence and pacing guides will be adjusted to address gaps and prioritized standards.
The Heuvelton School District understands its responsibility for developing a mechanism to collect and report daily teacher/student engagement or attendance regardless of the instructional setting.
- Schooltool, our student management system, will be configured for daily attendance.
- Classroom teachers will take period by period attendance for students who are physically present in school (AA/BB).
- Homeroom teachers will be responsible for taking daily attendance for students. During online virtual learning, teachers will complete this at the end of the day once they have made contact with the student.
- For students who are learning remotely, attendance will be taken only once a day. This includes students participating in the hybrid model for the days they are learning at home as well as all students who are at home on remote learning days.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Version 1: 08.04.20
LEARNING MODEL & SCHEDULES
Q: I appreciate the changes being made to improve health and safety (social distancing, required face coverings, health screening), but I am not comfortable sending my child back to school and I don’t want to home school my child. Can my child participate in a full program of at-home virtual learning?
A: In short, yes. Those families may request that their child(ren) participate only in at-home virtual learning, and may do so by contacting their child’s principal. All NYS schools have prepared models ranging from fully in-person instruction to fully at-home virtual learning. Survey results indicate that some families are not yet comfortable sending their children back to school. Please understand that at-home virtual learning is best accomplished with parent support, depending on student age. Additionally, independence and technological ability may have an impact. That said, we will do all we can to support every learner, regardless of location.
Our use of instructional space is largely dictated by the ability to socially distance students and teachers, and requires considerable planning. For that reason, parents who want to switch their choice from at-home virtual learning to in-person instruction will be given a window of time at the end of each marking period to do so. The request will be accommodated as space allows. Parents may request a change from in-person to at-home virtual learning at any time.
Q: If many parents chose to keep their children at home, will other students be allowed to attend in person classes more days?
A: Our initial survey indicated only about 20% of students were interested in learning at home all five days. Therefore, the hybrid schedule is necessary to provide for sufficient social distancing.
Q: My child wants to know: if she chooses to go online, will her classes be synchronous or asynchronous? She has said to us that if they're synchronous, she thinks it might make more sense for her to be in the classroom.
A: Instruction will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous opportunities. Teachers will use the same instructional and learning resources as the in-person hybrid learning cohorts, posting recorded videos, readings, and other learning activities in Google Classroom. Students will be required to participate in mandatory, scheduled virtual class meetings. Teachers will use this time to discuss the new information, provide clarification/guidance, facilitate learning activities, and administer assessments.
Q: Will the middle school (7-8) classes be streamed to allow the students who are remote learning to get more of a real classroom experience? Streaming classes would also decrease the need for extra staffing to manage online vs in person learning.
A: Middle school instruction will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous opportunities. Teachers will use the same instructional and learning resources as the in-person hybrid learning cohorts. posting recorded videos, readings, and other learning activities in Google Classroom. Students will be required to participate in mandatory, scheduled virtual class meetings. Teachers will use this time to discuss the new information, provide clarification/guidance, facilitate learning activities, and administer assessments.
Q: Will kids be stuck at their desks all day? Or, how will they be able to move around/interact/play? And how do we keep that safe?
A: We do not expect students to be seated at desks all day. At the elementary school, by reducing classes to smaller cohorts of students, there will be room for students to be out of their seats. Many teachers now use frequent breaks and incorporate physical movement as part of their lessons. Elementary students will still have the opportunity to participate in both recess and P.E.
Q: When will parents be able to view what classrooms will look like and know details of the amended lunch/recess?
A: A recent newscast (July 31) on WWNY-TV showed a Heuvelton classroom. Tables are largely absent, with desks paced at least 6’ apart. Information on schedules and class format will be communicated as soon as possible.
Q: Do you know at this point, for the 4-day elementary scenario, the amount of time students will actually be interacting with their teacher versus working remotely in school?
A: Students in grades preK-K will be with their classroom teacher for half-day. Students in grades 1-3 will be with their classroom teacher all day. For students in grades 4-6 elementary classes, the group will be split into two cohorts (A/B), with each group attending school in-person for two days each week. Whether face-to-face or hybrid, staff and students will be engaged in blended learning. This incorporates technology with the teacher as the facilitator of learning.
Q: Why does the learning plan include one day of at-home online learning for all students?
A: There are many reasons why we are using this model. We consider our plan as a phased reopening. By having one day of at-home online learning for all students, we are able to accomplish the following:
- We may need to transition to full, at-home virtual learning at some point during this school year. Having all students access learning online from the beginning of the school year helps us all prepare for that.
- Although our teachers did their very best last spring, we received substantial feedback from students and families. In order to have time to make the kinds of adjustments to remote instruction we need to make, our teachers will need professional development and time to work together. We are committed to equity and want to ensure students participating in in-person and at-home schooling are receiving the same level of instruction.
- The at-home learning day will provide teachers time to more fully support the cohort of students who are learning at home each day, to deliver more targeted interventions to some students, and to devote more time towards communicating with stakeholders. Additionally, it will provide time for special educators and counselors to perform case management responsibilities, and to offer social-emotional support to students.
Q: Will middle and high school students from the same household be on the same schedule?
A: We are currently working on the A and B groupings and plan to try to keep siblings together, if possible. If there is a request to have siblings on different days to accommodate child care needs, we will do our best to honor that request.
Q: How long will the plan described in the HCS Reopening Framework Summary be in place? I expect plans are revisited frequently with the changes associated with COVID-19.
A: Districts are tasked with developing models for face-to-face, hybrid, and remote learning for this school year, due to the uncertainty regarding the future impact of COVID-19 on the North Country, and New York state. For that reason, we are working to build a program that allows for transitions from one model to another with minimal disruption.
The district is open to refining what we do based upon experience. If school opens, our at-home virtual learning protocols and practices are effective, and regional infection rates remain low while those across the nation decrease, we can't rule out a return to 5-day instruction. However, due to varying enrollments at each grade-level, social distancing protocols present another challenge to navigate, in terms of finding space for bringing those students back, as well as staffing for instruction. We remain committed to delivering the best instructional program without compromising health and safety, which includes continual re-evaluation.
Q: Can my child be on the same schedule (A or B), as another student?
A: As we develop the A and B groupings, our priorities will be to group siblings together, and then to optimize student learning. Please contact your child’s counselor or principal with extenuating circumstances or concerns.
Q: Why is Kindergarten being planned as a half-day program?
A: In order to provide for the required social distancing, many classes at the elementary level were divided into smaller groups. By splitting our Kindergarten classes into half-day classes, we are allowing for appropriate social distancing within the allotted classroom space. Due to the change to a half-day kindergarten program, those students will not need a nap mat, and their schedule will not include specials (e.g. Music, Art).
Q: Why would you take Friday off? Why not take Wednesday?
A: The School Reopening Committee reviewed and discussed several models, including having at-home virtual learning on Wednesday. Childcare can be an issue with any at-home virtual learning, but it was viewed as more of a challenge in the middle of the week. Some other schools in the county have selected Monday or Wednesday as the remote learning day. Staggering these days may help us a little with securing substitute teachers. There was a shortage of substitutes prior to the pandemic, and we are anticipating this will continue to be a problem for our schools.
Q: Will students be required to wear face coverings at all times?
A: The Department of Health strongly recommends that face coverings are to be worn by all individuals at all times. This is one of the most important things we can do to make sure staff and students are safe when they return to school. Therefore, we will be following this recommendation. While seated in the classroom, students may remove coverings only when directed to do so by the teacher, and we will be advising teachers to allow this as little as possible. Parents are encouraged to begin acclimating students to wearing face coverings at home now, to build stamina over time. A strategy that one parent found helpful was to have their child wear a face covering while they were on a device, while another did it during storytime.
Students will remove face coverings during meals, when they are socially distanced. Teachers will also provide regular mask breaks throughout the day.
Q: Will very young children be encouraged to let their teachers know if they are feeling uncomfortable and need a break from their masks? Many children may think that they are "being bad" if they ask to take their masks off and may put themselves in harm's way to avoid asking for a break.
A: Our elementary teachers will be responsive to the needs of our youngest learners. Parents can definitely help by working with children this summer to help them build endurance for the wearing of face coverings, and finding ones that fit correctly.
Q: Is wearing a face covering optional?
A: Families who will not support the wearing of masks will be encouraged to have their students engage in remote learning. We are also planning for instructional programming to teach students why masks are necessary during this time. Non-compliance with face covering mandates or directives may result in discipline according to school district policies, procedures, and the Code of Conduct. Please contact the School Nurse for information on medical exemptions. The district will also comply with requirements of state and federal anti-discrimination laws, including Titles IV and VII of the Civil Rights Act. Please contact your child’s Principal with questions or concerns.
Q: Given that facial coverings are required, can my child use her face shield? I've found there's less adjusting and better vision with a shield opposed to masks?
A: No. The guidance schools have been given specifically requires cloth or disposable face coverings. When face shields are used, it is also required that a face mask be worn.
Q: What besides face masks can the kids wear? Face shields, with or without a hat, bandanas, or the cloth shields that go around their neck and can be pulled up? Also is there an estimated time they will have to wear them each day, 50% of the day, 75%?
A: The state guidance requires staff and students to wear “cloth face coverings.” This would include masks, bandanas or scarves, or “gators” that pull up from the neck. If a shield is worn, a cloth face covering must be worn as well. The Department of Health strongly recommends that face coverings are to be worn by all individuals at all times. Therefore, we will be following this recommendation. While seated in the classroom, students may remove coverings only when directed to do so by the teacher, and we will be advising teachers to allow this as little as possible. Students will also remove face coverings during breakfast and lunch. Teachers will also provide mask breaks throughout the day. Providing a % is not possible, but students and staff will be expected to have a face covering on most of the time. We’d like as many students as possible to attend school in a safe and healthy manner, but if wearing face coverings is a significant concern or challenge, remote learning may be the best option for some students/families.
Q: Will employees and students be expected to provide their own face coverings?
A: By law, the school district is required to provide a face covering for anyone who needs one. Students or staff who do not have their own will be given one. Buses and main offices will have a supply of personal protective equipment (e.g. face covers, gloves), also referred to as PPE, to be distributed as needed.
Q: My children have asthma and other health related issues. Masks are not something they can wear for more than a few minutes. My children will pass out. I am not willing to put them at risk like that. What is the policy on not wearing masks all day?
A: Health and safety is our first priority, and the situation requires a balance of personal health and community health. The state guidance requires staff and students to wear cloth face coverings when they cannot be socially distanced and the Department of Health strongly recommends that face coverings are to be worn by all individuals at all times. To minimize risk, wearing face coverings will be the general practice at school, with regular breaks from wearing coverings when social distancing can be observed. However, students with a compromising medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering should obtain a note from the child’s medical provider to give to our School Nurse, Marianne Weldon. It is easier to accommodate face cover medical exemptions in some areas (e.g. classrooms where desks are 6’ apart) than in others (e.g. on buses where we anticipate ridership of 20-40 students per bus, which is 1-2 students per seat), but we are committed to a safe environment for all students and staff.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Q: How will you be screening staff and students for COVID-19 symptoms?
A: We are requiring parents to monitor their children and not send them to school if they are exhibiting potential symptoms, including an elevated temperature. Equipment will be provided for families in need. We are also planning to conduct random temperature screening of students and staff. We are planning a campaign to continually remind parents of the symptoms and of their responsibility. Teachers will be instructed to send students with apparent symptoms to the school nurse. All school employees must complete a daily screening process.
Q: How will we know that all parents are taking their child’s temperature and honestly completing the health screening each day?
A: Parents must attest to conducting the screening on a daily basis in order to send their children. Equipment will also be provided for families in need. We will conduct random temperature screening of students and staff, plus we will intermittently remind parents of the symptoms and of their responsibility. Teachers will be instructed to send students with apparent symptoms to the school nurse.
Q: What will happen when there is a suspected or positive case of COVID-19 in the school?
A: St. Lawrence County is automatically contacted whenever there is a positive case in the county. If a staff member or student tests positive, Public Health will work with our school nurses to begin the process of identifying all of the individuals the patient had close contact with. Close contact is defined as closer than 6 feet apart for 15 minutes or longer. Close contacts will be notified directly by Public Health of their possible exposure to the virus so that they can be tested and begin the quarantine process. Once contacts have been identified, Public Health will advise us as to next steps. We will be receiving a written description of this process and timeline soon and will share it with parents as soon as we can.
Q: Will we test our faculty and staff to ensure that they are COVID-free before beginning school?
A: The Department of Health guidance does not require this. We will be screening all staff before they return to work, and staff who report symptoms or possible exposure to COVID-19 will not return to work until they have been seen by their health care provider. Faculty and staff who wish to be tested will be permitted to, though if they are asymptomatic and have not knowingly been exposed to the virus, their health insurance may or may not cover the cost of the test.
Q: Will classroom bathrooms at the elementary school be cleaned during the day?
A: Yes, our custodial staff will clean classroom bathrooms periodically, per CDC guidelines.
Q: Can I still send my child to school with a snack and/or lunch from home?
A: Yes. Parents will still have the option to send a bag lunch for their child or children will have the option to purchase a school lunch. There cannot be shared classroom snacks. Each student will need to bring their own snack. This applies to birthday treats as well.
Q: If my child learns remotely this year due to health concerns, will he/she still be eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics and extracurricular activities?
A: Yes. We expect a decision about fall sports to come by September 21st. If athletics are permitted, we expect adjustments to the start and end dates of the sports seasons. Other extracurricular activities will be evaluated on a case by case basis and may resume in virtual format only until a later date. Students learning from home are welcome to participate in these opportunities.
Q: How will you ensure students keep their face coverings on while on the bus?
A: We have a collective responsibility to ensure the health of all students and staff, which includes the wearing of face coverings. We will teach the importance of using face coverings, including the appropriate way to wear them. Families are encouraged to reinforce this with children at home, prior to the start of the school year. Bus monitors are frequently on the bus and will also help teach health and safety expectations.
Q: I live on the outskirts of the village. Is there a way that our children can still ride the bus?
A: Decreasing passenger density on buses is recommended by the NYS Education Department and Department of Health. However, the safety of student pedestrians is also a priority. We are working with the Village and NYS Department of Transportation to explore possible safety measures. Though we surveyed families about transportation needs, we expect some families will choose not to send their children to school in September, which may impact the number of bus passengers. Please contact our Head Bus Driver, Bill Rupp, with questions or concerns.
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING & MENTAL HEALTH
Q: How is the school going to accommodate the smaller kids emotional health when they like the hugs and attention and there is supposed to be social distancing ?
A: We pride ourselves on the care and affection that we show for our youngest learners, so the current pandemic presents real challenges. Beyond avoidance of physical contact, guidance from the NYSDOH recommends limiting exposure to, or contact with, soft surfaces since they are hard to disinfect. However, we are exploring the possibility of younger students having individual teddy bears, dedicated to their use, for showing affection during the day. Our certified teachers and counselors will be working together to support the emotional health of all students, and benefit from your ideas or suggestions, especially relative to your individual children. Please contact a member of our counseling team to discuss specific questions or concerns about your child(ren).
Q: What will you be doing with band and chorus?
A: The current guidance states that students would need to be 12 feet apart in order for these ensembles to meet. Our music teachers are looking at a number of options at this time. Small group lessons will definitely continue at all levels.
Q: If my daughter learns remotely for health reasons, can she still participate in band or chorus in person?
A: At this time, we are not certain if ensembles will be able to meet, due to social distancing guidelines. However, small group lessons will be available for students, and we anticipate they will be a combination of both in person and virtual lessons.
Q: How will the elementary school structure parent pick-up to allow for social distancing?
A: We will be looking at different options for parent pick-up to allow for safer dismissal and social distancing.
RECESS & PE CLASS
Q: Will students still have daily recess?
A: Yes! Students will go outside every day, as weather permits, and will be permitted to use the playground equipment. Safety protocols will be expected (social distancing is maintained, or face coverings must be worn).
Q: What will happen in PE class?
A: Our Physical Education teachers have been reviewing physical activities that maintain social distancing requirements of 12’. Activities will certainly be different than last year, but will emphasize the same skills and standards. The professional association to support Health & Physical Education in New York State has published re-entry guidelines for their members and it includes proposed activities (https://www.nysahperd.org/content/2020%20Re-Entry%20Guidelines%20for%20HPE%20Jess.pdf).
Q: I am not sending my elementary-aged child to school for health concerns, so at-home virtual learning works best for us. Will my child have the opportunity to participate in recess with classmates?
A: Recess will be held outside to the greatest extent possible, so engaging with classmates remotely will not be feasible.
NORTHWEST CAREER AND TECHNICAL CENTER
Q: My son plans to attend a ½ day program at BOCES. How will the at-home virtual learning days be impacted?
A: The programs at Northwest Area Technical Center will run on a normal Monday-Friday schedule. It is expected students will be permitted to drive to and from their program if they choose. The Heuvelton Central School District will also provide daily transportation to and from school.
Students will follow the AA/ BB schedule for in-person instruction at Heuvelton Central School, but attend BOCES NWT for five days each week.
Q: I am not comfortable with my child returning to school due to medical reasons. If my child was planning to attend BOCES, what happens now?
A: The New York State guidance indicates that schools are to prioritize in-person learning for special education and career and technical education. Therefore, BOCES will be in session five days a week. They have created smaller cohorts to allow for social distancing and hope all students will attend in person. However, if a student would prefer to learn from home, BOCES will provide that instruction remotely.
Q: Should school close and all instruction be at-home virtual learning, what kind of flexibility will there be for working parents who do not have access to child care who can help their children learn? What backup plan(s) will there be in order to help students and families succeed?
A: All schools must have plans for continuity of learning that include at-home virtual learning. When we start school in September, we will be asking our staff to manage in-person and at-home instruction. We believe the strongest foundation to support instruction that may become fully at-home virtual learning, is to embed a portion of this each week. This will allow everyone to incrementally adapt to virtual learning, become familiar with the format, and to troubleshoot issues while having easy access to reasons.
At times, live-streamed, synchronous learning opportunities will be necessary. However, staff will include recorded instruction, or other asynchronous activities, so that students and families may access them at other times. We are required to have daily substantive contact with students and a one-size-fits -all model we can’t expect teachers to do this outside of their traditional work hours, nor can we expect parents to facilitate all student learning.
Q: Our internet service wasn’t adequate during school closure. What is Heuvelton Central School doing to help my child be successful with at-home virtual learning?
A: To address internet bandwidth and connectivity issues, our staff are being deliberate to include asynchronous instruction and learning activities, that is, instruction that can be accessed at any time. This allows students to access instruction when they are able. Additionally, Heuvelton Central School has mapped homes in the district that experience internet connectivity challenges, with an eye towards finding systemic solutions. We have partnered with BOCES and area districts to explore constructing towers to deliver wide-ranging, high-speed internet access. Additionally, we are purchasing additional hotspots for areas with cell coverage but no internet service provider. We are committed to working with individual families to determine the best solution for their circumstances, as a number of possible solutions exist.
Q: How do we expect teachers to manage teaching some students in-person 2 or 4-days per week, and also support a cohort of online-only students (presumably with daily instruction)?
A: Once we know how many students will be learning from home and how many will be coming to school, we will examine staffing implications. It is possible some staff members will be managing the remote learning option while others are teaching in-person. At the secondary level, the remote instruction might be done instead of one section of a course. At the middle and high school, teachers will be using their remote instruction as the backbone of instruction and using the in-person days for conferencing, support, etc. By not having students report to school one day a week, staff will have time to plan together to ensure students are all learning the same thing, whether they are present in school or not.
Check the Childcare link for Childcare information. Childcare
Available Childcare:St. Lawrence Child Care Council315-393-6474Alyshas KlubhouseCertified Group DaycareAlysha Geddes315-528-72105129 State Highway 812 Ogdensburg, NY 13669