Questions from Community Q&A

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    Teaching & Learning - Hybrid Schedule

    Why did we choose AM/PM for elementary students instead of full days?

    Younger children benefit most from consistent daily instruction delivered in person, and are less likely to be self-directed on remote learning days.  We have scheduled PK-4 students in grades PK-4 to attend either morning or afternoon so that they can benefit from daily instructional routines.

    Why are you providing half-day instruction and half-day childcare instead of full day instruction?

    In order to maintain safe physical distancing we must limit the number of students per class at one time. Elementary teachers will instruct one small group in the morning, and another group in the afternoon. Our community partners will provide childcare for those who need it, while our teachers are instructing the afternoon group.

    Why are middle and high school students attending only partial days? Why not the full day?

    Middle and high school students will attend morning sessions only to allow time for teachers to connect with remote learning students each afternoon. This is intended to provide structured opportunities for all students to have daily contact with their teachers, whether attending in-person or remotely.

    Why did we decide on alternating days for middle and high school instead of Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday? 

    For middle and high school students, we have scheduled in-person instruction on alternating days (Mon/Wed or Tue/Thu) so that students can benefit from in-person instruction by their teachers every other day rather than three consecutive days (plus the weekend) of remote learning.

    Why is Friday a remote learning day instead of Wednesday?

    Friday is scheduled as a remote learning day so that teachers can meet at the end of the week virtually with both groups of students to review, reinforce and reteach important learning concepts that were taught that week.

    Why are 10th to 12th grades going full remote learning? Why don’t they come in the mornings like the 9th graders?

    Students must be scheduled in cohorts where they remain with the same group of students throughout the school day to the greatest extent possible. This is necessary both to limit the risk of infection, and also to enable contact tracing in the event of a positive case of COVID-19. Because the schedule for high school upperclassmen offers a diverse array of courses, we cannot immediately schedule students in cohorts while also offering the full selection of courses that are important to them. Our most immediate priority is to evaluate ways in which we can increase opportunities for students in grades 10-12 to attend in person while meeting all health and safety requirements.

    How will I know whether my child is in group A or group B? When will we know my child’s teacher? 

    Students will be assigned to attendance groups by their schools. Information will be mailed out to parents on Monday, August 24th. Please understand that teacher or class assignments may not be immediately available, as we will be making scheduling adjustments based on requests for distance learning.

    Can I choose if my child attends in the AM or PM or certain days?

    Principals will do their very best to make accommodations where possible based on family circumstances. If you have specific needs for your child, please reach out to your child’s principal using the contact information found at http://jpsny.org/contactus.

    Will children in the same household be scheduled to attend on the same days?

    Principals will do their very best to keep students in the same household together for in-person learning on the same days. If you have specific needs for your child, please reach out to your child’s principal using the contact information found at http://jpsny.org/contactus.

    What constitutes a high-needs student who will be attending in school more days?

    Students who require specialized instruction as required by an IEP, 504, or ENL program will be scheduled to attend school in-person more often so that they can receive the specific programs and services they need. In addition, students who have not been successful in their learning may be identified by teachers and principals to receive intensive interventions and direct support that can best be provided through more frequent in-person instruction.

    Can I request that my child be placed in group C so that he/she attends school all day?

    Our greatest hope is for all of our students to be able to attend school all day every day! At this time we are only able to accommodate full-time in-person instruction for students with specialized learning needs, as required by an IEP, 504, or ENL program or those whose academic or social emotional development indicates the need for intensive intervention and support. If a parent believes that their child requires this level of support, we encourage you to contact the school principal to discuss the needs of your child.

    If my child is struggling with the hybrid schedule, can I switch to distance learning?

    Because of the scheduling and staffing adjustments that are required, we are unable to take requests for distance learning after Friday, August 21. If parents find that students are struggling with the hybrid learning schedule, we encourage you to contact your child’s teachers, counselor, or principal for additional guidance and support to help your child to be successful.

    What can we do for 10-12 grade students who really need in-person instruction?

    We know that some students will struggle with remote or distance learning, and will continue to do all that we can to enable as many students to attend in-person as often as possible, while also attending to health and safety requirements. If a parent believes that their child requires the additional support that may be available through in-person instruction, we encourage you to contact the school principal to discuss the needs of your child.

    How will the district decide when more students can attend in-person? What factors will you use to make the decision?

    Our goal is to enable as many students to attend in-person for as much time as possible. We will be closely monitoring regional infection rates as well as students and staff attendance patterns to determine whether we can make adjustments to our schedule so that more students can attend more often. In addition, we will continue to work with school personnel to reevaluate and adjust schedules and routines so that we can increase the amount of in-person instruction provided.

    How will scheduling work with BOCES or P-TECH students?

    The hybrid schedule for BOCES and P-TECH students is set by Erie 2 BOCES. Students will attend in-person either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday, with remote learning scheduled on the remaining days. For further information, including specific assigned days, please see the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES re-opening plan posted on their website.

    What are the hours of in-person attendance for each school?

    Elementary students in the morning cohort (Group A) will attend from 8:30-11:00 and the afternoon cohort (Group B) will attend from 12:30-3:00. Middle school students will attend from 8:30-12:30. High school students will attend from 8:00-12:00. When students are not present for in-person instruction, they are expected to be present and participating in remote learning. More specific information about daily class schedules will be forthcoming from each school.

    Teaching & Learning - Remote/Distance Learning

    Will I have the option to request full-time distance learning?  How do I make this request?

    Yes. Parents have the option to request full-time distance learning. To request full-time distance learning, please go to www.jpsny.org/remote by Friday, August 21st to fill out a remote learning request form.

    When will we know if our full-time distance learning request is approved? Why might our request not be approved?

    We hope to be able to approve all requests for full-time distance learning. Once all requests have been received, we will determine whether we can make the necessary staffing and scheduling adjustments to accommodate both in-person and online learning. Requests would only be denied if we do not have sufficient staff available to provide distance learning based on the number of requests. Principals will notify parents on or soon after August 24 as to whether their child will be assigned to full-time distance learning.

    If I request full-time distance learning can I change my mind later if it’s not working out?

    If parents request full-time distance learning, they must commit to this choice through February 1, 2021. This commitment is needed so that we can plan accordingly for any scheduling or staffing adjustments that will be needed to return students to in-person instruction.

    What if my childcare provider can’t help my child with remote learning? Can we do the work in the evenings and weekends instead?

    The remote learning time may be used in many different ways based on the goals of the teacher and the needs of the students. This may include in person learning where the teacher would be available to help students. It also may include assignments or tasks that could be completed by students outside of the scheduled remote learning time.

    Explain more about what happens on remote learning days. Will there be a set schedule?

    Yes, students will be expected to follow the regular daily schedule set by the building for remote learning days. Students may expect set times for daily interactions with their teachers that focus on learning or assessment of learning. The type of interaction may vary throughout the week, depending on the teacher’s goal and needs of the students. Lessons may be delivered through video conferencing, recorded lessons or independent study.

    What is the remote learning schedule for the hybrid model, especially the afternoon?

    The schedule for remote learning time will be set by the building. However, this time is to be used for intervention and feedback. This may look a lot of different ways. Fo example, it could mean that a teacher schedules an on-line small group to offer more support to students who are having difficulty, this could be students practicing sight words or math facts, this could be students responding to a prompt posted by the teacher, or a teacher reviewing/providing feedback on an assignment with an individual student in office hours. So, this time could be used for many different things and in many different ways based on the goals of the teacher and the needs of the students. 

    Will attendance be taken during remote learning? As a working parent, how will I know if my child is attending distance learning every day as expected? What will happen if students are frequently absent?

    Whether attending in-person or remotely by distance learning, students are expected to fully participate in all scheduled lessons and learning activities. Each student's daily participation will be recorded by the teacher as the student's class attendance; in addition, each student's daily school attendance will be recorded whether in-person or remote instruction is scheduled. Students will be assigned grades by the teacher according to grading expectations established by the school.

    Will all students be given devices for remote or distance learning?

    We are working to ensure that every student in grades 3-12 will have daily access to a personally assigned laptop, Chromebook, or iPad for use at school or at home. We also hope to make iPads available for elementary school students in grades PreK-2, as needed. We aim to provide all students in K-12 with a device to support in-person or distance learning. Principals will make arrangements for devices to be distributed to students in each school.

    What can I do if I don’t have home internet access? Will wifi be provided to families?

    We will strengthen the wireless signal in each school parking lot so that students may download assignments to be completed offline. In addition, we will work with local internet providers to expand free and low-cost service options for families that do not currently have home internet.

    What training will be provided for students and parents who aren’t familiar with distance learning or Google Classroom?

    On days that students attend school in-person, teachers will be introducing them to Google Classroom so that they are prepared to locate and complete their lessons and assignments independently on days assigned to remote learning. In addition, we will be posting user-friendly tutorials for students and parents on our district website.

    Is full-time distance learning available for UPK?

    Yes. Parents of UPK students have the option to request full-time distance learning. To request full-time distance  learning, please go to www.jpsny.org/remote by Friday, August 21st to fill out a remote learning request form. 

    Will students with compromised immune systems automatically be scheduled for full-time distance learning?

    No, parents will need to request full-time distance learning for these students.  To make this request, please go to www.jpsny.org/remote by Friday, August 21st to fill out a remote learning request form. 

    What support will the school provide to parents if our child is resistant to remote learning?

    We know that some students will struggle with remote or distance learning, and will continue to do all that we can to enable as many students to attend in-person as often as possible, while also attending to health and safety requirements. If a parent believes that their child requires the additional support that may be available through in-person instruction, we encourage you to contact the school principal to discuss the needs of your child.

    Teaching & Learning - Other

    How will students in advanced placement or college-level classes get the help they need with advanced coursework?

    Any student who is in need of help should first reach out to their classroom teacher for individual support. In addition, the afternoon remote learning session is the perfect opportunity where teachers will be providing intervention, feedback and support for students. Finally, Jamestown High School is planning to offer an opportunity for students to come into the school to receive face-to-face support.

    How will seniors who are struggling get the help they need to graduate?

    Any student who is in need of help should first reach out to their classroom teacher for individual support. In addition, the afternoon remote learning session is the perfect opportunity where teachers will be providing intervention, feedback, and support for students. Finally, Jamestown High School is planning to offer an opportunity for students to come into the school to receive face-to-face support.

    Will the high school still be able to offer specialized electives in technology, art, business?

    Yes, all specialized electives are being offered as usual.

    Will students still attend special area classes like PE, art, and music?

    Yes, at all grade levels, students will still be attending special area classes.

    Will all students still have to take Regents exams or other state assessments?

    At this time, there are no exemptions to Regents exams nor other state assessments.

    School Routines - Child Care

    What are my childcare options for the school year? How do I sign up for childcare?

    JPS can provide working parents childcare options for K-6 enrolled students. You can sign up for childcare at http://jpsny.org/childcare or call 483-7121 by Friday, August 21st. More specific information on childcare options will be sent to parents the week of August 24th. 

    What is the actual cost for district-sponsored child care? What does “affordable” mean?

    We are working with our childcare providers to offer a high-quality, childcare program at the lowest cost to parents. The final cost will be dependent on the number of children who need childcare and the number of staff needed to meet childcare needs. More information will be provided the week of August 24th. 

    School Routines - Transportation

    Will transportation be available for students who attend only half-days?

    Transportation will be provided for half-day students with transportation in their IEP, half-day students who live in a safety zone, and half-day students who qualify for transportation under the McKinney-Vento Act.

    Will transportation be provided for students who attend UPK in-person?

    If a student is attending UPK in their home district, no transportation will be provided. If the student is attending UPK anywhere other than their home district, transportation may be provided at the discretion of the UPK office.

    Which students will be eligible to receive bus transportation? Will transportation be provided to childcare?

    Transportation will be provided for students with transportation in their IEP,  students who live in a safety zone, and students who qualify for transportation under the McKinney-Vento Act. Transportation to childcare will be provided for students who are eligible to receive bus transportation.

    School Routines - Other

    When will students in grades 10-12 be able to meet with counselors about scheduling decisions or college planning?

    Students can contact their counselors at any time, beginning Friday, August 21, by calling the Counseling Office (483-4358).  If your counselor is not available, leave them a message and they will return your call.  Students can also email your questions to your counselor. Counselor’s emails can be found at www.jpsny.org  Please don't show up to meet with your counselor without an appointment as the school needs to adhere to COVID-19 safety procedures.

    What supports will be provided for students transitioning to a new school, such as kindergarten, grade 5, and grade 9?

    UPK, kindergarten and grade 5 will do virtual open houses, on-line meetings with parents and possible in-person visits. Your school building will provide more detailed information.

    One of the main reasons JHS is starting primarily with freshmen students for in person instruction is to help with the transition to the new school.  Staff will be on-hand when students arrive to help them find their way around, and school counselors and administrators will be touring the building with individual cohort groups during the first couple days of class to get them accustomed to their new surroundings.  This will allow freshmen to become comfortable without dealing with crowded hallways, etc. and to become acclimated prior to upperclassmen beginning in person instruction.  Our school nurse and School Based Health Center will be operating to help with any health-related concerns students may have as well.

    When is the first day of school?

    The first day of school for both in-person and remote instruction is September 8, 2020. 

    Will students be permitted to bring their own lunch to school if they are attending full day or going to afternoon childcare?

    The district will provide bagged lunches for every student who attends school for the full day or going to afternoon childcare.  Parents should not need to send lunches from home with their students unless they have special dietary requirements.   Students attending full day or going to afternoon childcare may bring a lunch from home. 

    Why aren’t we using Rogers School for additional classroom space?

    In order to provide instruction at Rogers School, we would need additional staff including custodians, nurse, administrator, teachers, and other support staff. The adopted budget does not allow for the additional expense that this would require. Given the requirements of the NYS Department of Health, space is not as much of a concern as the number of staff needed to support instruction.

    How do I find out more about homeschooling my child? 

    To find out more about homeschooling, please contact the department of Student Support Services at 716-483-4387. In addition, information about homeschooling can be found on the NYSED website: http://www.nysed.gov/nonpublic-schools/home-instruction.

    Health & Safety - Cleaning & Sanitizing

    How can I guarantee that cleaning/disinfecting will be done on more than just a daily basis and between the AM/PM sessions?

    In the elementary Hybrid Model where some students attend in the morning and others attend in the afternoon, students will have their own space and materials and will not share desks, seats, or equipment. If any learning spaces must be shared, desks and chairs will be cleaned at the end of the morning session and before the arrival of the afternoon group.  All desks and surfaces will be cleaned again during the existing evening custodial shift in anticipation of the students arrival the next morning.

    In the middle and high school Hybrid Model where students attend on alternating days, the desks and chairs will be cleaned on a daily basis after student dismissal to remote learning by the evening custodial shift, prior to student arrival the next morning.

    Does the school district have adequate PPE, cleaning supplies, and staff necessary to keep schools clean and safe?

    The District has an adequate supply of masks, face shields, thermometers and sanitizing stations throughout the buildings. Ample cleaning and sanitizing supplies are in stock for use in all buildings. The District is working with our bargaining units on repurposing existing staff to assist with cleaning rather than laying them off.

    Health & Safety - Other

    What daily health screening is required for students or parents? Will students or parents have to fill out a screening form every day?

    Students who ride the bus will have their temperature taken by district personnel before boarding the bus.  Students with a temperature of 100.0 degrees or higher will not be allowed to board the bus.  All other students will have their temperatures taken upon arrival at school.  If a student’s temperature is more than 100 degrees, he/she will be referred to the school nurse for further screening and evaluation.

    Which students will be excused from wearing masks? What if my child refuses to wear a mask?

    Exemptions to the district masking protocol will only be granted to students or staff who have documented medical issues for which a face covering would cause an impairment. Students who refuse to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible may be subject to disciplinary action.