Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Buncombe, Cypress, New Simpson Hill, Vienna Grade and Vienna High School Reopening Plan Frequently Asked Questions

From the administration of Buncombe, Cypress, NSH, VGS and VHS

What are the current options for returning to school in August?

You will have  the option to select in-person or remote learning instruction for your student at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Option 1: In-Person Option: By enrolling your child for in person learning, you are agreeing that you and your child will comply with the criteria for in-person instruction, including performing a daily self-certification health check (see page 6 Student Health Screen) of your child prior to sending your child to school, and your child’s compliance with school safety procedures, such as wearing a face covering while on a school bus and while present in a school building, unless your child meets the criteria for an exemption from wearing a face covering.  Students enrolled in in-person instruction will attend school 5 days per week with five (5) clock hours of instruction/learning activities per day. Students will be dismissed early each day at 1:45pm from Vienna Grade and the high school and 2:00pm from Buncombe, Cypress, and New Simpson Hill due to shared busing schedules. The early dismissal is only for students. All staff will be required to remain at the schools for the day in order to coordinate remote learning.

Option 2: Remote Learning Option: You may elect to enroll your child for remote learning if you want to limit your child’s exposure and contact with other individuals during the current pandemic. By enrolling your child for remote learning, you are making an irrevocable commitment to remote learning for a minimum of a quarter (9 weeks). Students enrolled in the remote learning option will participate remotely 5 days per week with five (5) clock hours of instruction/learning activities scheduled/assigned per day. Your child will not be eligible to participate in in-person extracurricular activities during any period of time he/she is enrolled in the remote learning program.

You may elect remote learning if your child has an underlying medical condition that exposes him/her to a higher risk of complications if he/she contracts COVID-19.  You will need to contact your child’s school district to discuss your child’s specific issues and the school district will address your child’s needs.

Will the school district record daily student attendance?

Yes. The Illinois State Board of Education mandates that school districts record student attendance for all students who are enrolled in in-person instruction and remote learning.  If your child is ill and cannot attend school or participate in remote learning, you must notify the school of your child’s absence.  Excessive unexcused absences, whether enrolled in in-person instruction or remote learning, will be addressed in accordance with Board Policy.

If my child is in remote learning, what happens if my child fails to participate in online instruction or complete assigned work?

If your child is in the remote learning program, your child is expected to engage in all scheduled learning activities and complete all assigned learning activities, assignments and homework.  Your child’s teacher will contact you if there is a concern that your child is not participating in and/or not completing remote learning activities or homework.  Your child’s academic grades and eligibility to advance to the next grade level could be significantly impacted for failing to fully participate in the remote learning program.

Will my student, staff and or visitors be required to go through a health screening check daily?

Yes. The school districts will use a self-certification process, which means parents will be responsible for conducting the daily health screen check on their child and by sending their child to school each school day, you are certifying your child passed the health screening criteria and is eligible to attend school on that school day.  In accordance with IDPH and ISBE requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19, your child must have a health screen check prior to boarding a school bus or entering a school building to ensure your child does not have a temperature above 100.4 and does not exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms.  If your child does not pass the health screening criteria, your child cannot attend school and you must notify the school district of your child’s absence.

Staff and visitors will undergo the same self-certification process.

What safety protocols will be followed and be expected to be followed by students and staff?

The IDPH and ISBE has laid guidance and protocols that will be followed. Any exceptions to these guidelines will require a statement from a licensed physician.

Is my child required to wear a face covering while on a school bus and while attending in-person instruction?

Yes.  IDPH and ISBE requires your child to wear a face covering at all times while riding a school bus and while in a school building, unless your child has a medical exemption from wearing a face covering, discussed below.   Your child is required to bring his/her own face covering and wear on the bus and while in the school building.  Districts will have a limited supply of face coverings for students that forgot or lost their face covering.

What happens if my child refuses or fails to wear a face covering when required to do so?

The school district will communicate the face covering requirement to your child.  Your child will be given multiple opportunities to comply with the face covering requirement. The school district will notify you of any non-compliance issues. In the event your child refuses or repeatedly fails to comply with the face covering requirement, the district will contact you and make arrangements to place your child in the remote learning program.

Will my child have an opportunity to take his/her face covering off during the school day?

Yes. Throughout the school day, the school district will schedule opportunities for your child to exit the building, at which time your child may remove his/her face covering while maintaining the 6ft social distance from other individuals.

Are there any exceptions to the face covering requirement?

Yes.  If your child has a medical condition that 1) makes it difficult to breath with a face covering; or 2) has a medical condition that prevents him/her from wearing a face covering, your child will be exempt from wearing a face covering on the bus and in the school building, but you must submit a written statement from your child’s physician to confirm your child’s medical condition in order to exempt your child from wearing a face covering.    

What happens if my child exhibits COVID19 symptoms while at school?

If your child exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms at school, the school district will contact you immediately to come pick up your child.  While your child is waiting to be picked up, your child will be under the supervision of a staff member in an area separated from other students.

When can my child return to school after exhibiting COVID19 symptoms?

You should contact your child’s physician to discuss your child’s symptoms and whether your child should be tested for COVID-19.  You should return your child to school based on the recommendation of your child’s physician or you may contact the local public health department for guidance on when your child should return to school (see pages 4 and 5 from Southern Seven Health Department).

What happens if my child comes in close contact with someone at school that tests positive for COVID19?

The IDPH has defined closed contact as being within 6ft of a person that tested positive for 15 or more minutes.  In the event a student or staff member tests positive, the school district will notify the local public health department for specific guidance and whether or not school should close or remain open.  We anticipate the local public health department will follow their guidelines to conduct contact tracing and notify those individuals that came in close contact with an individual that tested positive.  See pages 4 and 5 for the information the school district received regarding “Contact Tracing in Schools Guidance from Southern Seven Health Department.”

If my child is expected to quarantine how will they receive an education?

During any period of time your child is required to quarantine due to a COVID related reason, your child will be provided his/her education through remote learning.

If my child is in remote learning and does not turn in homework or participate in remote learning instruction what are the consequences?

Students in remote learning are required to participate in the remote learning activities and students that fail to do so will be handled as truant, as if the student were not attending school.

How will my student’s grading and promotion be addressed during remote learning?

Regardless if a student is enrolled in in-person instruction or remote learning, all students will be held accountable towards earning their academic promotion. All students will earn grades as outlined in their respective school handbook.

How will the schools follow the current maximum of 50 people being allowed per space?

A space is defined as a classroom, lunch room, area of a hallway, etc.…  Breakfast, lunch, and other congregate style events will be limited to no more than 50 individuals.  For example, schools may have students eat lunch in their classroom or in a lunch room limited to no more than 50 individuals.

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