Questions about Teaching & Learning
Can we choose to send our children to school?
FFCS is offering a remote only learning option for students. Parents can choose this at-home model for their children for the first semester of the 2020-21 school year. Parents/guardians must sign up no later than Aug. 26 to choose this option, and must meet all procedures and requirements.
Will students be graded and how will we be notified if they are falling behind?
There will no longer be a pass/fail system for grading. Grading will return to traditional rubrics at all school buildings under all learning models, and all assignments will be graded as appropriate. Teachers will contact parents if students are not engaging in work. Families are encouraged to use Parent Portal, which has student grades, five week reports and report cards.
Will there be chorus/band/athletics?
There is a 12-foot social distancing requirement for activities requiring voice projection (singing), playing wind instruments and aerobic activities resulting in heavy breathing. Because of this, chorus/band will take place remotely. We are still planning how chorus/band can take place in person to ensure we can adhere to the 12’ social distancing regulation. Band lessons will take place, but we are working out where and how to space students out 12’. In terms of athletics, NYSPHSAA has not issued definitive information except that the fall season start date is delayed to Sept. 21st. There will be more to come on this in the coming weeks after the governor’s announcement in the first week of August.
Questions about Health & Safety
How will students be educated on how to follow infection control measures?
Teachers and staff will be trained in all safety protocols, including how to properly wash hands, respiratory hygiene, how to properly remove and put on a mask, etc. They will in turn give students age-appropriate training during the school day and explain safety expectations. There will be signage throughout the school buildings and we will share resources with families that are also available on our website.
How will the district handle non-compliant staff and students?
Among other requirements, there are strict health and safety regulations by NYSED and the NYSDOH that we must follow. That everyone must follow. Because of this, the district will be creating a COVID-19 insert to our code of conduct or a resolution that will be enacted by the BOE.
Will visitors and volunteers be able to enter the schools?
Out of an abundance of caution, the district has modified its visitor policy. All visitors will only be admitted by appointment and must be screened before entering the building. They will need to wear face coverings and follow all health and safety protocols as well.
What happens if a student or teacher is exhibiting symptoms of COVID?
The nurse should be alerted if a child or staff is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Staff will be sent home and students’ parents will be called to pick them up. The student will be in a supervised isolation area until they are picked up. The nurse will refer the staff or parent to their doctor and advise them to alert public health. Anyone having COVID-19 symptoms can’t return to school without a note from the doctor or a negative covid-19 test result.
If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, how will parents be informed?
The school district has to contact public health when they receive confirmation of a positive case. As a district we would then issue a communication to all families that there has been a positive case. The school district must adhere to all laws pertaining to confidentiality. At that point Public health will perform contact tracing, and their department will notify individual families and staff if there needs to be someone in quarantine.
Questions about Transportation
What is the cleaning regimen for the buses?
Buses are disinfected and cleaned twice a day or between runs.
How will children socially distance on a bus?
There will be tape located on seats to ensure social distancing to the best extent possible. Seats will be assigned and we will not be able to make changes for pick-up and drop off locations as we have in the past. Once the bus drop off and pick up is established there will not be any changes permitted. Students will be riding the same bus every day due to the limited space.
If schools reopen fully or in a hybrid model will there be an after-school program?
Currently, the Mental Health Association will be running the advantage after school program for grades K-6 during the three weeks grades K-6 are in-person. They will follow the same guidelines and regulations after school as we do during the day. The Mental Health Association will share more information when it is available.
How will you address social-emotional and mental health concerns of students?
We are going to build in social-emotional activities within our educational program. Staff will also be trained on how to recognize social emotional concerns and how to support that student in getting them resources they need. Whether it is referring them to a counselor, calling home to speak to a parent/guardian or both. In addition, parents are always welcome and encouraged to contact any school counselor or social worker if they are in need of support.