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MSD FAQ
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Frequently Asked Questions

This page will be updated with answers to frequently asked questions about the 2020-21 school year for Manchester School District. Answers are subject to change. More information will be added as it is approved or finalized.

You can scroll through or click one of the following links to jump to a section:

Basics  |  Teaching and Learning  |  Specialized Programming  |  Supplies and Technology  |  Health and Safety

Basics

Where can I find the full Manchester School District plan for the 2020-21 school year?

The re-entry plan is available online here. Many of the details in this FAQ are taken directly from the re-entry plan.

When will schools reopen for hybrid instruction?

Monday, Jan. 25, is the soonest schools can reopen for hybrid instruction. However, the date of return to hybrid may vary from school to school.

How is it determined whether schools can reopen for hybrid instruction?

In January 2021, the Board of School Committee approved an updated metric, which was developed in collaboration with the Health Department. You can view this metric at bit.ly/MSDmetric2.

This new metric allows the school district to determine which learning model each school should be in on a school-by-school basis. This metric is aligned with the state’s metric for reopening schools. It takes into account community transmission measures as well as school impact. The latter incorporates transmission in the school, staffing and student absenteeism. Each school will assess these measures on a weekly basis to determine the learning model for the following week. The learning model will be displayed on the school district’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Do the changes to metric mean some schools will still be fully remote?

Yes, some schools will still be fully remote on Jan. 25. Conversely, some schools that reopen for hybrid learning the week of Jan. 25 may need to shift back to remote learning in subsequent weeks.

Do we have an option for this year? Can we choose to be in person or remote?

Families can choose to keep students remote. We ask that you contact your school to confirm this choice.

Can I still register my child for school? How do I do that?  

Yes. Please click here and follow the instructions.  In person registration is not available at this time.  

I am not receiving email messages from my child’s school and the school district. What are my next steps?

Please start by taking a moment to review your SchoolMessenger notification preferences by logging into your SchoolMessenger account.  

If this is your first time logging intoSchoolMessenger you may need to set-up your account at http://go.schoolmessenger.com.  If you need assistance creating an account, please watch this quick video to help you with the process: https://vimeo.com/180768415

If you have incorrect information in your account,  please reach out to your school secretary and they will be able to assist you in updating this information in Aspen.


Teaching and Learning

What is Remote Instruction?

Remote Instruction is a learning option from Manchester School District for the entire 2020-21 school year. In this option, students would work from home or another remote location every day.

Who can choose Remote Instruction?

Remote Instruction is a learning option for all students. However, all students in 2nd Grade through 12th Grade will begin the year in Remote Instruction.

How is Remote Instruction different from the remote learning we did in the spring?

We have incorporated feedback from families, students and staff to improve this learning option. Remote Instruction will be far more structured than the remote learning that took place in the spring. It will follow a set schedule each day and will incorporate direct instruction via video conferencing and independent and partner work.

Can families get recordings of live remote learning lessons?

In response to family requests for recordings of live remote learning lessons, MSD has requested consent from families to record lessons. However, if we do not receive consent from families of students and the teacher, we cannot record the lesson.

Can families record live remote learning lessons themselves?

No, families are advised not to record remote learning lessons. Recording these sessions may constitute a violation of state law, and violates the privacy rights of all our students who do not wish to be recorded by others.

What is Hybrid Instruction?

Hybrid Instruction is another learning option from MSD for 2020-21, a combination of in-person learning and remote learning. Students attend school for in-person instruction two full days each week in smaller groups to limit the number of students in a classroom and allow for social distancing. For two other full days, students in Hybrid Instruction will learn remotely. Each Wednesday is designated for enrichment and interventions. For example, a student in Cohort A would attend school in person on Monday and Tuesday, then would be remote on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

How will you assign students to cohorts for Hybrid Instruction?

Students whose last name begins with A-K would attend school in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays with remote at-home learning on Thursdays and Fridays. Students whose last names begin with L-Z will attend school in-person on Thursdays and Fridays with remote at-home learning on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Will busing be available for students in Hybrid Instruction?

Yes.

Will students eat in the cafeteria?

Elementary students would eat in their classroom. Middle school students would eat in an assigned classroom. High school students would eat in the cafeteria, however times would be staggered to allow for proper social distancing.

What does remote learning look like in elementary schools?

Teachers will teach live (synchronous) lessons from 8:35-2:50. During this time students will be in small groups, large groups, or working independently. They will have breaks, time to read and move around. They will also have at least 30 minutes for lunch. Some days, they may have recorded lessons (asynchronous) from specialists, including gym, art and music.  

What does remote learning look like in secondary schools?

Students will follow their normal schedule. Teachers will be online from the beginning to the end of class. Students will log on to the class to connect with their teacher and receive their instruction, assignment, and have the opportunity to get support.

What if my teacher is absent during remote learning?

Students will receive a message from their teacher in google classroom with instructions for the day.


Specialized Programs

Will Specialized Programs be held in person?

Specialized Programs will be held in person as much as possible. The amount of time in person varies depending on the program.

What are Specialized Programs?

Specialized Programs include:

How many days each week will students in the Career and Technical Education program at Manchester School of Technology High School go in to school?

Students attending MST for Career and Technical Education Classes (CTE) will attend MST in person 4 days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) during their scheduled  CTE block only.  This is the case for students coming from MSTHS as well as all of the sending schools.  Based on this the choice for in-person attendance at MST is a hybrid model with one day of remote instruction.  Regular high school instruction will be delivered remotely unless the family has been otherwise notified of an in-person option.


Supplies and Technology

What will my student need for remote learning?

Your child will need an internet-ready device (computer, Chromebook etc.), internet  access and a quiet workspace. Here is a suggested list of school supplies they may need at home. Click here for the list.  

How can we get a Chromebook from the district?

Depending on availability, students can borrow Chromebooks from their home school. Please contact your school to inquire about borrowing one.

I would like to purchase a computer for my child. What specifications do you recommend? What options will they need?  

A Chromebook is recommended, with a range of device specifications listed below. Note: MSD is providing this list of devices to assist you in your purchasing decisions. MSD does not recommend or endorse any specific product, manufacturer or reseller.

Good

  • 8 Gb RAM,
  • Backlit Keyboard - Optional
  • Screen Size - 11 inches and over, most people prefer 14 inches or greater
  • Touch Screen - Optional
  • Camera - Yes

Better

  • 16 Gb RAM, 128 GB SSD,
  • Backlit Keyboard - Optional
  • Screen Size - 11 inches and over, most people prefer 14 inches or greater
  • Touch Screen - Optional
  • Camera - Yes

Best 

  • 32 Gb RAM,  256 GB SSD,
  • Backlit Keyboard - Optional
  • Screen Size - 11 inches and over, most people prefer 14 inches or greater
  • Touch Screen - Optional
  • Camera - Yes

What if we have our own computer?

You can use your own device if it is internet ready and can access Google.  

What if my child does not know their password?  

Please contact your child’s teacher directly.  If you do not know your child’s teacher please contact the main office at your child’s school.  

What if my child is new to the district and has not been given their login and passwords?

If your child is a new student to MSD and under age 13, please make sure you have completed the COPPA form to allow Manchester School District to create an online account for your student for learning.  If you have completed this form or your child 13 or older, your child’s teacher will contact you at the start of the school year to provide those passwords to you.  

What if we need technical support for the device we have ?

Please contact Tech Support at techsupport@mansd.org or 413 -3420.

Where do we return a broken device?  

If your child has a broken chromebook that they are unable to use for learning, please go to your child’s current home school listed here during the dates/times given.   When returning the device: Please make sure the device is clean, place it in a clear bag with the power cord and include the following information in the bag:   your child’s name, the name of the school where you signed out this chromebook, parents name, email address and phone number.

My child transferred schools in Manchester, can I still use the device from last year?  

If your child has transferred schools and is still attending a Manchester Public School, yes please continue using the device you have.

We have moved or my child will no longer be enrolled in a Manchester Public School, where do I return the device?  

If your child has moved or will no longer be attending a Manchester Public School, please return the device  to the school where you borrowed it  from.  The dates and times they will be open are listed here .   When returning the device: Please make sure the device is clean, place it in a clear bag with the power cord and include the following information in the bag:   your child’s name, the name of the school where you signed out this chromebook, parents name, email address and phone number.

What are options for internet if we don’t have it at home?

Comcast Internet Essentials (https://www.internetessentials.com/) is a low-cost internet option, and they are offering two months free service for new customers that enroll before Dec. 31.

In addition, MSD is working to place internet hotspots in locations throughout the city – more information to follow.  

What are the expectations for students  during Google Meet (video conferencing)?

Please click here to review the expectations with your child(ren).


Health and Safety

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 I should watch for?

Everyone (students, educators, and support staff) should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms at home prior to leaving for school. Symptoms include:

What if my student is showing symptoms of COVID-19 at home?

Please keep your student home if he or she is showing symptoms of COVID-19, and call the school to report your child will be absent. Each school now has a specific voice mail box for reporting COVID-19 symptoms. This voice mail box can be accessed by calling the school’s main number. The school nurse will contact the family with steps that they need to take for their child to return to school.

What safety measures are in place in schools?

Until further notice, the Board of School Committee requires the following when on school property, in school buildings, or at any school-sponsored event:

You can find extensive details on safety measures in our re-entry plan.

Are visitors allowed in school buildings?

No visitors are allowed in the buildings at this time. This will be reevaluated at the end of the first quarter. Parent/guardians will need to drop off and pick up students outside of the building. Parent/guardians with an appointment will be allowed in the building, but must follow all safety protocols, including masks and physical distancing.