Frequently Asked Questions: Reopening SCSD

In the coming weeks, the district will communicate its progress on the different scenarios to reopen school. We will continue to keep our families updated, and in the meantime, have been responding to your questions as best as we can. Some of these questions and answers may be of interest to all families so we have provided this FAQ section for your convenience.

Please keep checking back as plans continue to be amended, and we will communicate with our families as quickly as possible.

To submit a question, please email info@spencerportschools.org

FAQs from New York State Education Department:

NYS School Reopening FAQs, updated as of July 22

Health and Safety
Q: Will Masks be mandatory for all students?

Face coverings are “strongly recommended” by the New York Department of Health at all times, except for meals and instruction with appropriate social distancing. However, schools can require face coverings at all times, even during instruction; Spencerport will be amending our reopening plan to require masks, including during instruction, for all students and staff.  Exceptions to this include scheduled mask breaks, mealtime, and if a student or staff member has provided appropriate medical documentation.


Q: Can you please tell me if face shields will be okay for this model of learning in the hybrid capacity?

Face shields may be worn in conjunction with a cloth face covering.


Q: Will students have any health screenings at school or will they all be done by parents?


As stated in the NYSED reopening guidance, the goal is to have all health screening conducted before arrival to school (pgs. 20 & 22). Buildings are working to finalize a screening process for students who are unable to complete the electronic health screening. Please be aware that the district will be providing instructions and resources to parents prior to Mon., Sept. 14.  


Q: What type of health screening will substitutes have before entering the building? 

Substitutes and all staff are required to submit an electronic health screening, with temperature check, prior to entering the building.

Q: 
Will there be plastic or Plexiglas partitions at desks and the cafeteria? 

At this time barriers will be installed at the point of sale/ point of pick up in all cafeterias and greeter’s areas. Barriers may be installed where social distancing cannot be maintained. All student desks and seating in the cafeteria will be arranged to ensure a social distance of 6-feet between individuals.   

Q: Will there be COVID testing for students and teachers? Are there enough tests and how long will the results take to come back?

As of Aug. 4, it is strongly recommended that schools comply with CDC guidance and not conduct COVID-19 testing or require testing or antibody testing of students or staff members. The decision of whether a test needs to be conducted should be determined by a healthcare provider or the local department of health. NYSED Guidance (pg. 41)


Q: What are your plans if someone (student or teacher) test positive for COVID-19? 


A. If the district learns of a positive test we will contact the Monroe County Department of Health. The district will work with the MCDoH to determine an appropriate course of action based on the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 as well as guidance from NYSDOH and the CDC. The district will work with MCDoH to communicate the plan of action and possible exposures in alignment with the district’s emergency communications plan. This is outlined in MCDoH guidance, and NYSED Reopening Guidance (pgs. 40-42).

Q: What symptoms will keep a student from not being allowed to attend school? 

A: Parents/guardians and school staff must complete a health screening for their child(ren) prior to boarding the bus or coming to school each morning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keep an up to date list of symptoms of Coronavirus on its website. This list is not all inclusive as some individuals may display other symptoms or none at all. As of July 13, the following are listed as the most common symptoms of COVID-19: 

* Fever or chills (100°F or greater) 
* Cough 
* Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
* Fatigue 
* Muscle or body aches 
* Headache 
* New loss of taste or smell 
* Sore throat 
* Congestion or runny nose 
* Nausea or vomiting 
* Diarrhea 
Operations Questions
Q: Will surfaces be cleaned in between classes? 

A: The district is implementing a process wherein custodial staff will circulate through the building throughout the day to clean high touch surfaces per the NYSED Reopening Guidance (pg. 43)
 


Q: Do classrooms, hallways, gymnasiums all have HVAC systems that meet the new standards? 

A: The NYDOH guidance indicates that the district should increase outside air as much as possible while maintaining health and safety protocols (pg. 4) The district has evaluated all HVAC systems and those systems will be set to maximize fresh air intake. 

 
Q: Do all windows open and will they be open to assist with ventilation? 

A: Most classrooms across the district have functional windows, in which staff are encouraged to open to improve ventilation (unless this introduces a health and safety risk, such as allergies, potential fall). In recent capital projects the district installed screens in most windows to aid in preventing insect infiltration when windows were open.



Q: What is the status of fall athletics?

A: All athletics are currently postponed to Sept. 21.

Our athletics office will continue to work in collaboration with the district’s task force to prepare for any mandates and guidelines that are provided from the Governor's office, Department of Health & NYSPHSAA so that we can move forward in providing a top notch athletic experience for our athletes when we are able to return. 


Q: What is the status of summer camps and community programs?

A: As of July 9, we are extending the closures of our buildings, fields, facilities, and summer camps. This extension will allow us the opportunity to devote our efforts to only essential meetings and events in preparation for the hopeful return of school, and being as prepared as possible; however should guidance and available resources change we will certainly let you know.


Q: If the campus is closed, will the student meal distribution continue?

A:
 Yes. The summer meal program for children 18 and under will continue from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from the bus loop at Cosgrove Middle School. No registration is required, and meals for Tuesdays and Thursdays will also be provided ahead of time on the distribution days.


Instruction related questions

Q: For remote learning, will my child get a laptop?

A: Yes, Spencerport's Reopening Plan does outline technology accessibility for each child.

Q: Will the start date be delayed as other districts have done?  

Students first day of school will be on Mon., Sept. 14.This later start date will allow for staff training and planning to support our various instructional models. The amended school calendar for 2020-21 may be found at this link.


Q: Why did you group students by a Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday model? 


A:The advisory task force recommended the Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday model, after expressed concerns that students would be out of school for almost a full week with the Mon/Tue and Thu/Fri option. The latter model would further present difficulty for our primary students as they learn and develop routines.


Q: Will this schedule provide students with equal amount of in-school time? Can you please advise how students’ schedules will be assigned when the Hybrid Instruction Model is selected and you have more than one child in the district?

A: The Hybrid model is designed to provide the Blue and Gold groups the same number of students and amount of time in school. Once the Spencerport group, Rangers group and the Remote Learning group are finalized, the district will be using Infinite Campus to balance all K-12 classrooms across the district while taking into account households with children in multiple schools. Consideration is also given to balancing students for transportation.


Q: Using the Enrollment Intent Form, if I select the Hybrid Instruction Model, will all of the children in my household be scheduled in the same group and attend school on the same day?

A: Yes, students in the same household will be assigned in the same group, and therefore will attend school on the same days, if the Hybrid Instruction Model is chosen. Please remember to complete the Enrollment Intent Form for each of the children in your household. 


Q: Will we have the option of picking which two-day session our child will attend? 

A: Unfortunately, due to the complexity of scheduling and the effort to keep families together and buses balanced, parents will not have the option to decide which two days their children attend. If you have a hardship or extenuating circumstance, please contact your child’s school principal. 


Q: What considerations went into the decision to opt for a Hybrid and Remote reopening approach?

A. Online surveys for parents and staff; task force meetings; guidance from the state and local departments of health, NYS Department of Education and the directives of the Governor's Office. Primarily, in a full return model, the district would not able to meet the social distance guidelines released by the CDC and the NYSDOH, therefore, the Reopening Task Force made the recommendation to consider hybrid and remote learning options for families.   
Additional considerations included:

• COVID-19 cases and trends
• Best practices from our nursing staff, the
local Board of Health, the NYSDOH, and
the CDC
• Current inventory of personal protective
equipment (PPE) and future needs
• Assessment of facilities and spaces
• Enrollment and building capacity
• SCSD curriculum, instruction, and
assessments
• Budgetary and fiscal constraints
• State and federal guidelines and
requirements
• Examples of plans from other states and
districts
• Special population needs
• Developmental needs of students
• Busing and transportation
• Staffing patterns and personnel
• Technology


Q: Could you describe what the full remote learning model will entail? Is it going to be similar to end of last year’s structure?

A: In response to the "Distance Learning Survey" that the district administered in the spring, parents shared that they would like their child to have greater access to their teacher(s) and higher expectations in terms of academic requirements. Although the final details for 100% remote learning haven't been finalized, the district is working diligently to incorporate the feedback that our community provided. Unlike the spring, students will need to be assessed on their academic progress throughout the school year and this will require a more rigorous approach in terms of teaching and learning.


Q: Will there be an updated calendar, with day rotations, published by the district?

A: Yes. There were be a separate day rotation calendar for the high school, middle school, and elementary school. This calendar will be finalized and more information is forthcoming when available.


Q: 
Is there a possibility of the district switching from hybrid model to all in-class in the middle of the year? Or... will this be the plan for the entire year?

A: This will be a decision that is made based on guidance from the governor's office. 


Q: Why isn’t kindergarten running 5 days a week? 

A: Due to enrollment and the ability to safely social distance, Kindergarten will follow the hybrid schedule.