2020-21 School Options FAQ

We are still working to provide answers to all of your questions. With the announcement by Governor Kelly (7/15/20) and the guidance being provided by KSDE, answers to some questions may take time. We also need guidance from our principals/teachers. Many questions will be answered and detail provided in the next Reopening Plan. Thank you for your patience!

If we enroll students in the ORLP, and schools shut down at any point, will the ORLP continue without interruption, or will they be shutdown for any period of time for any mirroring of the in person situation?
The ORLP will continue on without interruption even if all schools close. 

When and how will I receive the paperwork for the Optional Remote Learning Program?
The district started sending out forms today through DocuSign eSignature. These are individualized emails and it will take several days to get through all the parents who expressed interest. We will have all emails sent to parents by the end of the day on Monday, August 3. Please return your form as soon as possible, but no later than August 10.

If I choose Optional Remote Learning will my student have the same textbooks, workbooks, and educational resources they would receive if they were on-site? 
Yes, your student will have access to the same resources on-site students have, only virtually. Your Optional Remote Learning teacher will help you get started with the resources you'll need to complete your work in this program.

Will students be using lockers? UPDATED
At this time, due to the challenges of physical distancing and sanitizing lockers, students will not be using lockers at the high school. High school students may carry their coats and lunches with them.

Middle school students will place their coats and lunches in lockers when they arrive at school before first-period. They will be allowed to carry their backpacks and materials for the day to classrooms. Staff will be present to discourage students from grouping around lockers and encourage physical distancing. Students who brought their lunch to school will be allowed to go to their lockers before and after lunch. Students will not be allowed to go to their lockers during transition periods. During Advisory at the end of the day, classes will go to their lockers to get their belongings to take home.


Will masks be required when more than 6 feet of physical distancing is not possible? Does this include preschool? UPDATED

The community restrictions are determined by the extent of any local outbreak and, more specifically, the response by the county health department. Right now, the county is in a Low Restriction level, which means they are allowing full, on-site, education to occur. As it sits right now, even the Low Restriction level means that masks are required (and mandated by the state). Much of the information that determined the mitigation factors is subject to change, but this document describes our current condition with contingencies for higher levels of restriction. We will follow all state/county mandates - please click here to review the current mask mandate.

After receiving clarification from the state, preschool students will be required to wear masks.

The district will provide masks for students and staff. Students and staff are encouraged to supply their own face covering so they have a covering that fits appropriately. 


Will middle school students be able to walk their schedule?
Principals will be sending information to 6th graders and new students about visiting the building before the start of school.

Will we have snow days this year?
As we are preparing for the school year, we are making plans to have remote learning on snow days. 

Will additional minutes be added to the instructional day?
At this time we are not adding additional minutes.

If the governor moves us back to Phase 2 what would that look like for schools? And how does the Johnson County Reopening Schools Criteria affect our schools?
We will alter plans as needed and follow all county/state guidance for reopening schools. We are still about a month out from the start of school and things most likely will change again before school starts. We'll know more about what needs to happen in the next two weeks. We will continue to keep parents informed of guidance from our health departments and how it affects school reopening.

Can students bring snacks to school if they have an early lunch?
Yes, we understand that an early lunch may not sustain a student for the entire school day. Each building will share guidelines on bringing food to school. 

Will disciplinary action be taken for students not wearing masks? 
These mandates are in place for the safety of students and staff. If a student is not wearing a mask and is not exempt from wearing a mask, we will work with the student to determine the underlying issue/reason they are not complying. If there are needs that can be met by the school, such as the student doesn't have a mask or only has an ill-fitting mask we will provide them a new one. If the reason is a defiance of authority/mandate the student will be disciplined similarly to a dress code violation. 

If my student is enrolled in the Insight School of Kansas (7-12) can they take classes on-site? What if they are enrolled in the optional Remote Learning Program? 
UPDATED
Students enrolled in Insight School of Kansas, who live in the USD 230 school district boundaries, may attend on-site classes, but are not eligible to participate in any KSHAA event (activity or athletics). For example, an Insight student may enroll in band or orchestra at SHHS and could perform in a school concert, but could not perform in a competition. 

Optional Remote Learning Program students may take some on-site courses. Students/parents should work with their school to determine if this option is viable with their schedule.

Can my student participate in athletics or activities if they are enrolled in the optional Remote Learning Program, Kansas Virtual Academy, or Insight School of Kansas? UPDATED

The Board of Education approved a one-year dispensation for students enrolled in at least five courses through the district's optional remote learning plan. This does not apply to students participating in the virtual schools (Kansas Virtual Academy or Insight School of Kansas).


Will students be able to participate in band and orchestra via the optional Remote Learning Program? UPDATED 
Band and orchestra will not be offered through the optional remote learning program. Teachers in these specialty courses will only be teaching on-site. However, a student participating in the optional remote learning program may be able to take one of these courses on-site. Students/parents should work with their school to determine if this option is viable with their schedule. 

Will my student get a mask break?
Yes, teachers will incorporate mask breaks when physical distancing can be maintained. Elementary schools will provide clips for students to clip their masks to their shirt during recess, mask breaks, and while eating lunch. 

How will my student stay hydrated if they can not use the drinking fountain?
Students will have access to the bottle filling stations to fill bottles brought from home. The filling stations at each school are touch-less. 

Which teachers will be teaching in the Optional Remote Learning Program?
Current teachers will apply to be considered for these openings. Human Resources is creating a rubric for selection of these positions. A calendar of deadlines, application, and training will be shared with all teachers. 

Will the high school have Bronco Hour?
Bronco Hour will be suspended until further notice.

Will flexible seating be offered for students this year?
We are working with principals, teachers and facility staff to determine if this is something we will offer this year. Once we have made the determination this answer will be updated and moved to the top of the page. 

How is the contract tracing process going to include bus riders considering that bus riders cross multiple grades while on the bus, but not at the school?
The schools will complete contract tracing on students identified as a COVID-19 positive patient. The school will have access to a student's daily routine, including whether the student is a bus rider. Schools and Apple Bus will work together to identify and notify direct contacts.

Additionally, processes for bus riders are in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19. For example, bus riders will have assigned seats and load from the back to the front and exit from the front to the back. 

Will students still be required to participate in fire, tornado and intruder drills?
We have reached out to the State Fire Marshall and Johnson County Department of Health and Environment to provide guidance on these required drills. To-date we have not received this guidance.

What if parents can't find disinfecting wipes for school supplies? Will the district have enough to keep buildings disinfected?
The district has been ordering and stocking up on cleaning/disinfecting supplies in preparation for students' return to school. The disinfecting wipes that parents provide as part of school supplies (if they are able to find them) will supplement the district's supply.

How many students will be in hallways at one time?

We cannot provide a specific number as it would depend on the building, on-site enrollment at the building, etc. Schools are evaluating staggering dismissal/transition times, one way hallways, and teachers rotating to classrooms.

Will there be an optional Remote Learning Program for preschool students? UPDATED 
At this time, the Spring Hill School District has chosen to offer preschool onsite only. There will be no optional remote learning program available for students unless school closure necessitates it. 

If your child has an active IEP and received special education services during the 2019-2020 school year, your student's case manager or school psychologist will be reaching out to you to gather data regarding his/her current levels of progress prior to the start of school. You may be asked to attend an IEP team meeting to review that progress and collaboratively make plans for your student's current school year. 


Who will be enforcing students to wear masks? 
Teachers, staff and administrators will be monitoring and enforcing the use of masks. 

Will bathrooms be unlocked and available to students all day?
Yes, but we are asking students to go to the restroom during instructional time to minimize crowding in the bathrooms. Students and staff will use hand sanitizer when entering and leaving a room.

Will there be adequate space between students at lunch?
These plans will be different for each building. Principals are looking at additional spaces in their buildings to provide more spacing during lunch. Students will not sit directly across from each other unless a plexiglass barrier is in place. 

Will parents be required to provide additional supplies like bins for individual storage, PPE, cleaning supplies, etc.?
No. The district will provide bins (or similar) to keep individual supplies separate, approved cleaning supplies, and Personal Protective Equipment for staff and students.  Students and staff are encouraged to supply their own face covering so they have a covering that fits appropriately.

Why do I have to enroll my student before I know what each option looks like? UPDATED
The online enrollment that is open now (July 13 - August 10) through Skyward needs to be completed regardless of whether you choose on-site education or optional remote learning. The online enrollment is confirming demographic information, approving media release, updating emergency contacts, etc. 

If you choose the optional remote learning option you will have one additional step that is completely separate from the online enrollment through Skyward.

The deadlines are as follows. 
August 10 - Complete online enrollment through Skyward
August 10 - Complete the commitment paperwork for optional remote learning. This will be sent separately via email to parents who expressed interest through the survey. 

What does a day in the optional remote learning plan look like?
Please review here.

Will middle and high school desks be thoroughly wiped down between classes? Who is responsible for cleaning them?
The plan for the high school is to have teachers or older students wipe down the desks at the completion of each class period. The district will provide student-safe cleaning products to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The plan for the middle school is to have teachers wipe down the desks each time students leave the classroom and before the next class arrives.

Will other organizations be using schools before or after school or on weekends?
No, building rentals will be suspended until further notice except for the YMCA to provide summer camp and before and after school care.

Who closes a school if there are too many cases of COVID-19? What is the number of cases that closes schools?
The county and/or state health departments monitor the number of cases and clusters of COVID-19. They would be the ones to determine whether a school would need to be closed based on the number of percentage of cases. We are not aware of the number/percentage that closes a school. More information regarding this question is being sought from JCDHE. 

If schools are closed again will there be childcare options for essential workers?

It is possible that the YMCA could provide care for school-aged students similar to summer camp. However, all state and county mandates must be followed in our buildings so a definitive answer can not be given at this time. 

What happens when a student/staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment will be notified (if information is not coming from JCDHE). Parents at the school notified of positive test in the building. Contact tracing begins. Parents with students who had direct contact with the person who tested positive (and staff) will be notified if they are required to quarantine. 

Only students/staff with direct contact as determined by contact tracing will be required to quarantine. This does not necessarily mean an entire classroom will have to quarantine.

Please review appendix for quarantine here. We are seeking additional guidance from the JCDHE for additional guidance

Will we be notified if a student in our school building tests positive?
Yes, all parents in a school building will be notified by email if a student tests positive. Notification will be made the same day the school receives the information. The case will be identified at a grade-level. 

Parents in the classroom with the student who tested positive will be notified additionally as they may receive a call from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

Will my student (K-12) be required to take state assessments if we choose the optional remote learning program?
Yes, the guidance states that we are to be consistent with our assessment program. 

If my student tests positive for COVID-19 or is notified that they have been in direct contact with someone who is positive, will they switch to remote learning? 
Students who must quarantine based on a positive test or having direct contact with someone who tested positive, if well, will receive education through remote learning during quarantine. Students who are ill will complete make-up work per usual.

Will all parent meetings be virtual. What does this include? Back to School night?

Parent teacher conferences and other similar parent meetings will be held virtually. All parent events and activities will be suspended until further notice, including Watch DOGS, Muffins with Mom, Doughnuts with Dad, PTO fundraising events, and similar. Specific guidance for parents will come from individual schools on changes to events like Back to School night.

Will the optional Remote Learning Program be offered second semester? 
We will survey all families toward the end of the first semester to determine if there is enough interest to continue the program second semester. 

Will students have access to a device if we enroll in the optional Remote Learning Program? 

Yes, more information will be provided upon commitment to the program. Please remember to express interest by July 31 and complete all commitment paperwork by August 10 (this will be emailed to parents who express interest).

If we start school in-person can we change to the optional Remote Learning Program during the semester? 
No. You could change to the virtual school up until September 4 (their deadline for accepting students into the program). However, we can not add teachers (in-person or optional remote) mid-semester.

If school doesn't start on the original start date of August 12 can my student attend the YMCA summer camp?

Students age 5-12 can enroll in the YMCA summer camp. More information and registration forms can be found at https://kansascityymca.org/programs/summer-camps/explore-camps/youth-day-camp 

Are alterations being made to the ventilation system?

District buildings will make alterations as follows.

  • Outside Air: Adjust HVAC units to increase outdoor ventilation and adjust HVAC ventilation to bring in more fresh outdoor air. 

  • Filters: Increase level of air filtration and check filters more frequently; check and maintain HVAC unit filters more frequently.

Are face shields allowed instead of face masks?
Barrier masks are required when social distancing and stable cohort groups cannot be maintained. In addition to social distancing, barrier masks and face shields reduce the likelihood that individuals will come in contact with respiratory droplets of others. The use of cloth face coverings may not be feasible for all staff and students or for classrooms with medically fragile students and students with special needs, e.g. deaf and hard-of-hearing students who will struggle with muffling by masks and loss of ability to see face and lips. The district will consult with local health officials/medical experts and staff regarding appropriate alternative face coverings, such as face shields, which allows visibility of face. Provisions, including face shields, will be made on a case-by-case basis for students or staff who are unable to wear a mask. A doctor’s note may be required for individual exemptions.


Will I still have time to enroll my student in the virtual program (Kansas Virtual Academy or Insight School of Kansas) if there is not enough interest in the district's optional Remote Learning Program?
Yes, there will still be time to enroll in a virtual school if it is determined that the district's optional Remote Learning Program is not viable. 

How do the reopening guidelines including the optional Remote Learning Program affect my student's IEP?
Special Education staff will work with identified student's IEPs on an individual basis to ensure those goals and services identified in their plan are addressed through on-site and remote learning. 

Will students take home devices each night in case we don’t come back to school?
Students should practice taking home their device and any other needed personal items each night in case of a school closing due to COVID-19. 

Who will clean between classes? Will the district provide supplies or will teachers and parents donate? 

The district will provide the COVID-19 cleaning supplies for classrooms and shared spaces. Cleaning between classes will be scheduled and assigned to staff based on time of day and frequency.

Will there be a maximum number of students allowed per classroom? 
We will abide by the capacity limitations set forth by the Ad Astra plan. We will look at reducing the number of students enrolled for on-site learning. We are still limited by space and number of certified staff. We will work with teachers to install and implement safe practices (face shields, plexiglass barriers, removing excess furniture, etc.) when we are not able to reduce class sizes. 

Do I have to isolate if I traveled outside of Kansas before the start of school?
Currently, there are a limited number of states and situations that are on the KDHE required 14-day quarantine list. This list can be found at Travel and Exposure Related Isolation/Quarantine. The list is regularly updated by the KDHE. Please keep this in mind as you plan any travel in the upcoming months. Even if a state is added three days before school starts, you will still not be allowed to attend school or participate in activities/athletics until you have quarantined for the full 14 days.

Who determines if we are in low, moderate, or high community restrictions? And who decides if schools close?
Community restrictions are set by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment based on the current data and condition of the pandemic. The governor, Kansas State Department of Education, state and local health departments coordinate community health and safety efforts in relation to COVID-19. State, county, or district-wide school closing would be determined by these departments based on current conditions and spread of the disease. 

I am very worried about a substitute shortage. How are we ensuring that classrooms will be covered?

We cannot guarantee that we will have a 100% fill rate. Even in non-pandemic times, there are times that our demand is higher than our supply. The USD 230 BOE approved a daily rate increase for certified substitute teachers. Many of our substitute teachers substitute in other districts. At last check, we have the highest daily rate of pay for substitute teachers in our area. Human Resources is actively advertising for substitute teachers, substitute paraprofessionals and substitute nurses. We are following up with applicants who may not have secured teaching jobs to recruit them as substitute teachers. Colleges and universities are being contacted to encourage their preservice teachers to obtain substitute licenses in order to substitute on days they may not be in class. Additionally, we are contacting our current pool to confirm they will be continuing on our substitute rosters.

Do I need to complete online enrollment if I want my student to complete the school year through the optional Remote Learning Program? UPDATED Yes, we still need your information regardless of attendance on-site or remotely. You will be required to complete a short commitment form in addition to online enrollment for the optional Remote Learning Program. This will be emailed to you after July 31.

Do I need to complete online enrollment if I want my student to attend Insight School of Kansas (grades 7-12) or the Kansas Virtual Academy (grades K-6)? No, if you are enrolling your student in one of our virtual schools you will need to complete registration through their websites.

Insight School of Kansas

Kansas Virtual Academy

What is the difference between the optional Remote Learning Program, mandatory Remote Learning and virtual schools (Kansas Virtual Academy and Insight School of Kansas)?
The optional Remote Learning Program is available for families who are concerned about sending their student to school during the 2020-21 school year. Enrollment in this program commits their student to remote learning for an entire semester even when school buildings are open. Our designated USD 230 teachers will provide the instruction and contact with students. This program will only be offered if enough students are enrolled. Only students residing in the USD 230 boundaries are eligible to enroll. 

Mandatory remote learning will be used for ALL students during episodic school closures due to COVID-19. Students will be taught remotely by their classroom teacher(s). Students will return to onsite school once it is deemed safe by the county Department of Health and Environment. On-site students will automatically be "enrolled" in this program as there will not be an option due to state or county mandate.

The virtual schools are open to students across Kansas. The curriculum is provided by K12. Instruction and services provided are done so by K12 staff through the Kansas Virtual Academy (K-6) and Insight School of Kansas (7-12).  

Does it cost more to enroll in the optional Remote Learning Program? Or the virtual schools?

Other than the same fees as in-person learning, there are no costs. State and local taxes pay for either format. However, to receive funding, there are additional record-keeping requirements for families who may choose optional remote learning.

Can I enroll my student in the optional Remote Learning Program any time during the school year?

No, in order to make staffing decisions, it is essential that families commit to optional remote learning by July 31 for the entire first semester. A deadline for deciding on second semester enrollment in optional remote learning will be announced during the fall semester.

If I enroll my child in Kansas Virtual Academy or Insight and after time it does not appear to be a good fit can we enroll back into physical classes?

A student enrolled in one of the virtual schools can transfer back to in-person school before September 17 or after the end of the semester.

 

Are there still going to be PLC days?

PLC days will be suspended until further notice. As we monitor the situation we will provide plenty of notice before we resume PLC days. We ask that elementary and middle school parents still complete the registration process during online enrollment to eliminate the need for registration when PLC days resume.


Can a student who returns to in-person in January participate in spring sports if they completed the optional Remote Learning Program during the first semester?
Yes, as long as they successfully passed 5 courses of new learning and are a student in good standing.

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