Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with Answers
Thomasville City Schools (AL)
STUDENT SAFETY & COVID
Will students be required to wear masks at school?
Currently, masks are recommended (but not mandated) for individuals within 6 feet of others outside the immediate family.
Times may arise when students will need masks, but it is not practical to think students will wear them all day.
If a student or teacher tests positive for COVID, what will the protocol entail?
The protocol set by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) will be used if a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19.
Specific details regarding protocol will be shared before school begins.
Will there be temperature checks when students enter the school building?
Currently, we are asking parents to monitor for fever and symptoms.
How will social distancing be maintained in the classroom?
Students will practice social distancing to the extent possible in the classroom.
We will do our best to follow guidance from the ADPH.
Social distancing will be an ongoing discussion.
More information will be provided closer to the start of school.
Will class/block changes be staggered to reduce hallway congestion?
Hallway traffic will be staggered when possible.
Will students who are showing symptoms (coughing, sneezing, etc.) be separated/quarantined?
Students who become ill will be placed in a designated area of quarantine with a facial covering in place, and parents will be called.
How will schools and classrooms be cleaned and sanitized?
We will follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and ADPH guidance for sanitation.
Daily cleaning of high traffic areas, added hand sanitizing stations, periodic deep cleaning of buildings will be done.
Will there be additional staff working at the school to assist with sanitizing the classrooms/buildings each day?
No. Custodial staff will cover daily cleaning.
An outside company will perform periodic deep cleaning of all facilities.
How will school visits look for the current year?
School visits will be limited.
The temperature of each visitor will be checked at the door.
Visitors will also be asked to sanitize their hands, to wear a face covering, and to follow social distancing guidelines.
Will students be screened for shortness of breath, cough, chills, muscle pains, headaches, or fever (over 100.4) at the beginning of each day or class according to the CDC guidelines?
We ask parents to screen children at home.
Teachers will visually screen students each morning and send any child exhibiting symptoms to the school nurse for examination.
How will the district encourage social distancing?
Social distancing will be practiced when possible.
THE TRADITIONAL OPTION & THE SCHOOL DAY
Will students attend school every day under the traditional option?
Yes. We are planning for students who choose traditional learning to be able to attend every day.
Will the length of the school day be the same/normal times from last year?
Yes. Utilizing the same take-in/dismissal times is the plan for traditional students.
School-specific information will be available before the start of school.
Will there still be a spring break?
Yes. At this time, we do not plan to change the approved calendar.
Will students stay in the classroom all day?
The level of risk in our area will determine how much time is spent in the classroom.
Changing classes may be limited for a while.
What will class sizes look like?
We anticipate smaller class sizes due to the remote learning option.
Will students have elective class offerings, and if so, what will electives look like?
Yes. The plan includes offering electives, but they may look different.
For example, the elective teacher may need to travel to the child's classroom as opposed to the child traveling to the elective teacher’s room.
Final decisions regarding the protocol for electives will be made soon.
Will students leave the classroom for P.E., music, and other electives?
If students leave the classroom for P.E. or electives, cleaning will occur between classes.
Will students have recess?
Recess and P.E. could occur with limited numbers and established cleaning protocols.
If my child is in the band, what will that look like?
We will share information concerning band, choir, etc., once we receive guidance.
Traditional and remote students can participate in Marching Band.
What will lunch look like for students?
Breakfast and lunch will most likely be in classrooms until the local COVID situation improves.
Will school buses still run?
State guidance says that buses will still run.
We have a team looking at the most effective safety measures. Buses will be sanitized after each route (twice a day) and deep cleaned once a week.
Hand sanitizer stations will be added to buses.
Can a student start traditional schooling at the beginning of the year and later choose remote learning?
Yes. Parents may change learning options at specific times during the school year.
Changes in learning options can take place at the end of a nine weeks/semester.
In the traditional classroom setting, will substitute teachers be trained to handle situations and follow protocols?
Substitute teachers will be trained on best practices.
BLENDED QUESTIONS (AS PART OF THE TRADITIONAL OPTION)
What does "blended" mean? Can you explain the blended portion a little bit more?
"Blended" is part of the traditional option.
"Blended learning" integrates the use of virtual platforms such as Google Classroom during traditional instruction.
Incorporating a virtual platform will ensure compatible pacing and content for remote and traditional students in case parents choose to change options during the school year.
For example, teachers will drop assignments, post video demonstrations, make announcements, and invite discussion of content using a virtual platform like Google Classroom.
Final decisions regarding the virtual platform will be made before the start of school.
For the blended option, is virtual learning up to the parents' discretion or is this decided by the school?
The blended option is decided by the school since it is a part of traditional learning.
THE REMOTE OPTION
Will remote learning be virtual or online?
The remote learning curriculum will be online.
Will the remote/online option be available for the entire school year? Will parents be allowed to switch to the traditional setting during the school year?
Yes. Remote learning will be available for the entire school year.
Parents will have the option of switching to traditional schooling at the end of a nine weeks/semester.
How many hours a day will be required for remote learning?
The amount of time required daily for remote learning is dependent upon the grade level.
Full-time remote instruction will require a greater daily time commitment from students than was experienced during the last quarter of 2019-2020.
More details will be released soon.
Will remote classes begin at a specific time each day, or will students work at their own pace?
Students will work independently, and teachers will provide assistance during scheduled check-in times.
Sample scheduling options will be provided to parents before the start of school.
If remote learning is chosen, will the school system supply devices and internet connection?
School system devices will be available to every student, but parents must provide internet access.
A list of wifi options will be published before the start of school.
What is the attendance policy for remote students?
The attendance policy for remote students will be shared soon.
How will participation in sports/band/etc., work for remote students? For example, if baseball/band is one of our classes, would my child only attend in-person for that period?
Yes, that is the plan.
Students will report to the campus on time and leave promptly following the class.
How will parents enroll/sign-up students for remote learning?
Specific instructions will be provided soon.
How will remote students be graded?
The details of grading will be released soon.
Will gifted and talented services be available for students enrolled in remote learning?
Yes. Gifted/talented services will be available to students working remotely.
Will students be tested for gifted services if the remote option is chosen?
Yes. Any required face-to-face testing will follow recommended safety guidelines to the greatest extent possible.
Will elementary students work in small groups during instruction?
Yes. Small-group instruction will take place using social distancing.
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