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8/17/20 Board Q&A

AUGUST 17TH BOARD OF EDUCATION QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

 

PK-5 Masks:

It is important to recognize that many people are in support of us requiring masks in the PK-5 classroom and somewhat equally as many opposed to masks in the PK-5 classroom. Research supports both perspectives. Our presented and approved plan that parents reviewed to make decisions about face-to-face instruction vs. online instruction included no requirements for masks for PK-5 grade students while in the classroom. There may be times during certain group activities in which an elementary teacher may ask students to put on masks. Times when students are paired, reading time in which students are sitting closer together, outside nature activity which student must work together in close proximity and so one. While this does not mean all the time, it does allow opportunity for teachers to request for a student/students to put on masks. The key here is that we honor our presented plan and provide PK-5 students the freedom to sit at their desks during class time without requiring them to wear their mask. That said, any student wishing to wear a mask on their own may do so as well. Masks in PK-5 are not required but definitely not prohibited.

 

Questions:

 

  • Will there be extra bus routes? We have not added extra bus routes but

our bus ridership will be down due to those choosing online learning.

 

  • How are we addressing students who have sensory issues with mask

wearing? Those students unable to tolerate a mask may seek a doctors’ note to be excused from wearing a mask. Otherwise, they will be expected, per the Governors’ order to wear a mask.

 

  • What about behavioral children being physical? We will do our best to handle this as we would typically. It varies by grade level but our handbooks and the new COVID addendums address this. Students will be reminded to respect social distancing.

 

  • So when will we find out who our child’s teacher is? This information should be sent to parents in the next week.

 

  • What is the efficacy of a plastic barrier? It adds another element of protection. It was mentioned that they must go all the way to the ceiling to be effective. That would definitely be better for sure but we also can only do what is possible.

 

  • What percentage of students opted for virtual learning? 24.7%

 

  • What is the district response to a positive COVID case? There were

multiple questions related to this question and I am responding to all in this one response. I did share a response to this last night as well. We will be working with the Midland County Health Department very closely to determine our response, contact tracing and level of closure. We plan to provide a virtual meeting for teachers with the Midland County Health Department on Wednesday next week to share details and provide

opportunity for staff to ask questions. With this email, I have included the

manual provided to us by the MCHD.

 

  • What are the odds of going to remote instruction before August 31st? This

is hard to know. Decisions such as this may be made by the Governor in

collaboration with the Midland County Health Department.

 

  • How has the requirement for increased fresh air exchange in classrooms

been achieved? Air through our classroom univents and roof top units bring in fresh air from outside and filter the classroom air. These units have recently all received new filters. We will continue to change filters as needed.

 

  • There were several responses (not really questions) regarding the teachers return poll. I am aware of this poll and do not feel I have a fair response to the results.

 

  • Do you have a plan for the mental health of students and teachers both as we return in the midst of the pandemic? We have in our return to learning handbook a process to provide mental health to our students. We do not have a specific plan for staff mental health except what may be achieved through a health care provider.

 

  • Why has there been no meeting for support staff? We are planning to provide training before school begins. We are doing the best we can to get this all organized.

 

  • Are all teacher sprepared if we do have to move to online for all? To theth best of their ability. We will be providing training on Thursday August 27 .

 

  • How can we follow the truancy rules if COVID dictates how long someone should be out of school? There will be consideration given to quarantine when determining truancy.

 

  • Who will pay for COVID testing if a teacher needs it? If a teacher is exposed as part of their job, when/if required to be tested, they will be referred to a free testing site.

 

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