Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Holly Area Schools Schools created this FAQ to address common questions from students, parents/guardians and community members regarding the Return to Learn plan for the 2020-21 School Year. 

HAS understands that as families review their learning options for the fall, each family may have their own unique situation that may lead to individual questions. In an effort to support the needs of everyone, we will use the following form to gather those questions:  HAS Return to Learn Family Questions.

 

General Questions

How is Holly Area Schools making decisions regarding the Return to Learn Plan for the Fall of 2020?
On June 30, 2020, Governor Grethen Whitmer provided reopening guidance through the MI Safe Start Roadmap.  Principals, Directors, and Administrators at Holly Area Schools are continuing to meet regularly to prepare for our district’s reopening based on the health and safety requirements in the MI Safe Schools Roadmap.  We have also organized a return to school teacher committee and reviewed feedback from a recent parent survey.  

What will learning look like during the 2020 - 2021 school year? 
If Michigan remains in Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan, Holly Area Schools will offer two options for families:  In-person Learning and 100% Virtual Learning.  Both of these options are available to review at our website on the Return to Learn page. 

Why is it important for families to complete Skyward Online Verification by August 7th? 
Staffing, course programming and transportation all will need the period from August 7 through the beginning of school (August 31st) to prepare for the 2020-21 school year.

How do these plans impact the school calendar?
All HAS programs, In-Person and Virtual, will follow the published 2020-2021 calendar. If there are changes made to the calendar, a new version will be published and communicated to all families. 

What will be the bell schedule this year?
Daily start and end times to the school day are currently scheduled to be the same as in previous school years. 

Why is there no option for a Hybrid Learning Plan?
The HAS administration extensively investigated the possibility of running a Hybrid learning option. It was determined that this would not be the most supportive model for the families and would not be the optimal learning environment for our students. With the large geographical size of our district we are limited on transportation options as well. Our In-Person learning Plan provides increased safety while maximizing the learning experience for all students. 

Will there be state assessments (MStep, SAT, Workeys, etc.) in the 2020-2021 school year?
Yes, at the time. However, the state has applied to the federal government for a waiver for state testing requirements. If the waiver is granted there could be a change in the future to the testing status for the 2020-21 school year. If this occurs we will provide updates. 

How will staff know where student learning levels are at after having remote learning this spring?
At the start of the school year, staff will assess student learning needs to support instruction. 

Will there be Open House’s and orientations at the start of the school year? 
Due to the need to minimize traffic in buildings and the requirements under phase 4 of large group gatherings we will not be able to host these events in the traditional manner they have been in the past. Building principals will be preparing Video Greetings to be shared virtually with all families. Should our state be moved to Phase 6 at some time during the year we will be able to reconsider the hosting of large group events.

If after reviewing the full FAQ document, I still have a question, who should I contact? 
As we continue to build out our plans we will be adding and updating information to the FAQ document. Please continue to refer back to it as it may be updated daily.  If you have additional questions not covered in the FAQ you may submit them at this link.

Health and Safety

Will students and staff participate in daily health screenings?
We will be recommending that families continuously monitor for symptoms and keep students home if they have a fever/feverish, chills, sore throat, dry cough, difficulty breathing, or digestive issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.  Daily Home Screenings for Students

Currently, we are also awaiting anticipated protocols from the Oakland County Health Division.  As soon as this information is received, we will update this document. 

All employees must self-screen and complete a health questionnaire prior to reporting to work each day.  

What happens if a student, teacher, or staff member becomes ill or displays symptoms at school? 
Any individual who displays symptoms of COVID-19 will be isolated in a designated space until they can be removed from the school campus. Two Oakland County public health nurses will be working in our district this year and will provide specific guidance. 

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
Isolation is for people who are COVID positive. It separates people who are infected with the virus from people who are not infected. It usually lasts 10 days. 

Quarantine is for people who are well but were exposed to someone who is COVID positive. It keeps someone who might have been infected with the virus away from others. Quarantine lasts 14 days since the last possible exposure.

How long must a student, teacher, or staff member be out of school if they test positive for COVID-19?
Per the health department  guidelines, any student, teacher or staff person that tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home and will be excluded from school until

  • 3 days with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and
  • respiratory symptoms have improved (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) and 
  • 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Does a sibling of a child in quarantine have to be quarantined?
Household members, classmates, and teachers of the quarantined student/staff may continue to attend school and should monitor for symptoms.  If symptoms develop, they should call their medical provider to be tested for COVID-19. 

How long must a student, teacher, or staff member quarantine if they have been in close contact to a confirmed COVID-19 case?
If a student, teacher, or staff member has been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19, they should quarantine for 14 days since the last possible exposure. 

  • Close Contact is defined as:  A person who was within 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes without a mask.  

What happens if a student in my child’s class tests positive for COVID-19?
Holly Area Schools will alert the Oakland County Health Division.  Our district will alert families by providing general communication about the COVID-19 positive case while protecting the identity of the person who is infected. All identified close contacts of the COVID-19 positive case must quarantine at home for 14 days from the last positive day of exposure and monitor for symptoms. 

What will be the requirements of my child if a sibling or family member in our home is tested positive for COVID-19? 
Household members, classmates, and teachers of positive COVID-19 family members in isolation will be excluded from school for 14 days after their last date of close contact. 

Will students be required to socially distance during the school day? 
Due to physical space and staffing limitations it is impossible to require social distancing in our classrooms and our buses. In order to minimize contact we will be separating students as much as space allows while also keeping students in cohorts throughout the day. 

Will learning be continued for students/teachers who are required to quarantine?
At this time our plan is to transition quarantined staff/students to a remote learning environment. In most cases they will be able to continue to work in the class cohort/group but do so remotely by using Schoology our new Learning Management System and virtual meetings through Google Meet. 

Who is required to wear a mask at school? 
As mandated in the MI Safe Schools Roadmap, every student and staff member must wear a face mask when entering the building, unless a medical exception is provided, the individual is under two years old or is unable to remove his/her own mask. 

  • Masks will be required for all staff district-wide and students in Grades Y5 -12 at all times including on buses and during arrival and dismissal. 
  • Medical documentation for a mask exception is required if a student, teacher, or staff member is unable to wear a mask for any reason. 
  • Disposable masks will be available in all buildings for students who come to school without a face mask.
  • For students, face shields are not allowed. 

The CDC recommends all people 2 years of age and older wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.  COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected.  Please use the following links for more information. 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0714-americans-to-wear-masks.html#:~:text=In%20an%20editorial%20published%20today,when%20used%20universally%20within%20communities.

What are some suggested strategies to support my student wearing a mask during the school day?
We encourage parents and guardians to practice wearing masks with students at home before the first day of school.  Consider including your child in the selection of a cloth face covering for school. This may help increase a child’s acceptance of wearing a mask.  

Will my child be required to supply their own mask?
We request that each student bring their own cloth mask to school each day. Please label your child’s mask with their name so it can be returned if lost. Each family is expected to clean masks each evening prior to returning to school on the next day. If a child does not have a mask, the school will provide a disposable mask for the day. 

What is the proper and expected way to safely wear a cloth face covering/mask?
A mask or facial covering must cover your nose and mouth to help protect others in case you’re infected with COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms.  Do not put the face covering around your neck or up on your forehead. Do not touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect​. 

How do I clean my cloth face covering? 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wash-cloth-face-coverings.html

Will there be hand sanitizing stations available in the school buildings?Yes, every classroom space as well as large meeting spaces will have either hand sanitizer or hand washing stations available for student and staff use. Staff will encourage students to use the sanitizer frequently.

How often will students be washing their hands?
Elementary students will have sinks/soap and water in classrooms and will be taught to properly wash hands. They will be encouraged to wash hands throughout the day and prior to lunch. Additionally, they will have hand sanitizer available in each classroom and large group space. 

Will HAS be minimizing the number of people entering school buildings?
Yes, as outlined in the MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap, Family members or other guests are not allowed in the school building except under extenuating circumstances determined by district and school officials. If families need to drop items off for students there will be a dropbox system in place at each school building.

Can I pick multiple options for the children in my family or do they all have to do the same option?
Families are able to choose the learning option that is best suited for each individual child. When you enter into the Annual Online Verification Process  you will complete the process for each child individually and indicate your choice.

What courses will be offered for In-Person Learning and Virtual Learning?
HAS Administrators are currently working on developing schedules and course offerings that are able to be facilitated under the current requirements. More information about specific courses will be communicated prior to the start of school. 

 

In-Person Learning

Will I be able to change from In-Person to Virtual during the school year?
In order to support staffing and safety protocols for In-Person Learning, we are asking families to commit to In-Person or Virtual Learning for the full school year. However, we do know that there may be extenuating circumstances and will review student’s situations on a case by case basis at the end of the marking period.  

How will course selections be determined for my high school student? 
Students will be assigned the appropriate ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies and Elective classes based on their transcript and previous classes moving toward graduation. Students will work through Schoology with a designated HHS teacher.

What will class size be like?
Class sizes will be determined by the number of students who enroll in In-Person Learning and in our Holly Virtual Learning Programs. 

How will the classroom setup change from previous years?
Classrooms will be set up to allow maximum distance between students with all desks/tables facing the same direction.     

Is there a possibility that we all could be doing remote learning again this school year?
Yes, according to the MI Safe Start Roadmap, provided by the Governor, if the state or our region is moved to Phase 3 we will all be forced into a remote learning situation until we are moved back to phase 4. In the event that this happens, HAS staff is being trained to be able to continue with all learning activities in a remote setting. HAS schools has purchased a new Learning Management System, Schoology, which will support teaching and learning both in the classroom and in a remote setting and will allow for an almost seamless transition. 

Will teachers be teaching both In-Person and Virtual at the same time?
Elementary teachers will be assigned to be an In-Person teacher or a remote teacher based on enrollment numbers in both programs.  Most Secondary teachers will teach both In-Person and Virtual but this would not be at the same time. The two formats would be during different class periods. 

Will students be eating lunch in the cafeteria?
Students at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels will eat lunch in the cafeteria and additional overflow areas, such as the gym.  Expanded eating areas will allow for students to spread out and social distance where possible.  Masks will be required at all times except when students are eating.  

When will elementary students be in classrooms and when will they leave the classroom?
Elementary students will spend the majority of their day in their assigned classrooms. They will travel to the lunch room or another large space for lunch and will remain with their cohort (classroom group) during lunch and recess. 

Will elementary students continue to participate in Art, PE, Music, and STEM?
Yes, elementary students will continue to have these co-curricular opportunities. However, these classes operate differently as in the past.  Co-Curricular teachers will rotate into the classrooms on a schedule.  Physical Education will go outside when possible. At this time we are continuing to look at scheduling options to determine which courses, and how frequently they will rotate. 

Will middle school and high school students switch classrooms during the day?  Will my middle school or high school student participate in elective classes?  
Like at the elementary schools, middle school and high school students will remain in one classroom with the same cohort of students most of the school day.  There will be limited student transitions to other classroom spaces during the school day. Elective teachers will rotate into each cohort classroom.  

Traditional elective offerings will be impacted by the in-person schedule in Phase 4; some classes will look different and some classes may not be offered due to the inability to facilitate under the current requirements. The middle school and high school will communicate more details regarding the student schedule before the start of the school year.  

  • What is cohorting?  Cohorting is a strategy that schools may use to limit contact between students by keeping groups of students together over the course of a period of time.   

Will elementary students continue to have recess?
Elementary students will go outside for recess as in years past. While on the playground, students will be cohorted with their classroom group and will be assigned to one section of the playground. The playground sections will be rotated throughout the week to allow all students access to all parts of the playground.  

Will we still have parent teacher conferences?
Conferences are typically held in October. We will still hold conferences and will determine at a later date the structure and guideline around how conferences will occur. 

Will lunches be available for students to purchase? 
Yes, lunch service will be provided with reduced options. Lunches will be packaged for grab and go service to reduce students' contact in the serving lines. 

How will the school handle materials that need to be shared between students?
Students will be encouraged to have their own school supplies and as in a typical year buildings and teachers will provide a suggested supply list. Schools will help to provide supplies for students who are unable to provide their own. Supplies that need to be shared will be cleaned on a regular basis. 

Will there be a reduction in visitors into the building?
Yes, in an effort to reduce contact visitors will be restricted to the school buildings for emergency purposes only. 

What if I need to bring something to my student?
Each building will be equipped with a dropbox at each entrance so that families may bring and drop off items a student may need throughout the day. The drop box will have instructions for communicating with the office regarding the dropped items. 

Will arrival and dismissal still look that same? 
Due to the need to maintain a safe and secure learning environment for all students, arrival and dismissal procedures will be updated. Each building is developing appropriate arrival and dismissal procedures to reduce student traffic in one spot.  Details for each building will be slightly different, but in general students will be dropped off and picked up by families at the school door/parent drop off line. There will be several staff members available to ensure all students have a safe and happy start to their day and arrive in their classrooms as expected. 

Will students be going on field trips or participating in assemblies?
There will be no field trips or assemblies for the near future and students will connect with guest speakers/presenters virtually.  

Will students continue to be able to participate in outside programs such as OSTC, DEEP, Dual Enrollment and Work Experience?
Yes, these programs will still be running. Students will be able to participate while following the guidance and requirements set by each program. 

If my student participates in outside programs such as OSTC, DEEP, Dual Enrollment and Work Experience can they do their other courses In-Person or Virtually?
Yes, we can work with our OSTC students as In-Person or Virtual students for the remainder of their courses.

Will my elementary child have to wear a mask for In-Person Learning?
All Students, Y5 – 12, will wear masks at all times during the school day except during meals. As mandated in the MI Safe Schools Roadmap, every student and staff member must wear a
face mask when entering the building, unless a medical exception is provided, the individual
is under two years old or is unable to remove his/her own mask.

The CDC recommends all people 2 years of age and older wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.  COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected.  Please use the following links for more information. 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0714-americans-to-wear-masks.html#:~:text=In%20an%20editorial%20published%20today,when%20used%20universally%20within%20communities.

 

Virtual Learning

Why are the virtual school day schedules different from the time schedules of the traditional school day last year?
The new virtual schedule reflects a lot of planning to best meet the needs of students at each level.  At the middle school and high school level, students will be engaging in more independent work than at the elementary level.  This is similar to what happens in a traditional year when students are face to face with teachers.  At the secondary level, students are not receiving direct instruction from their teachers from 7:20 am - 2:30 pm. 

The new schedule at each level has scheduled opportunities for students to engage with teachers each day.  The new virtual high school schedule was built off of best practices for instruction and for supporting teen learners in a virtual environment.  The elementary students will need more guidance and support, similar to what they would have in a traditional classroom if they were face to face with their teacher. 

The model at the secondary level allows for the teachers to collaborate and plan for a day when they will be connecting virtually with over 120 different students.  Students at the secondary level will also be meeting with different teachers.  The elementary schedule is built with one primary teacher meeting with 1 class roster of students most of the time.  During times when they are not scheduled to be in virtual meetings, they will be working through assignments and studies from at least 5 different teachers.  Depending on the day, a high school student could be in a virtual session with a teacher until 2:00 or 2:30 pm.  Additionally, the elementary schedule does have built in breaks into their schedule.  High school students will have more independence with their work, but will also be checking in on most days with each teacher for new instruction, guidance, and support.   This may come in the form of whole group, small group, or individualized instruction.  

What is the Holly Virtual Learning Program?
The Virtual Learning Program will provide students with a rich and rigorous experience from their home. Students will work with a Holly Area Schools teacher and participate in courses with other students from Holly Schools. Teachers will provide learning experiences through a 100% online classroom experience and engage with students via virtual meeting programs. 

Who can register for the Holly Virtual Learning Program?
This option will be available to all students Young 5s through 12th grade of Holly Area Schools and our School of Choice Students. 

Is there a cost to participate in the Holly Virtual Learning Program?
The Holly Virtual Program is a tuition free public school.

How do I register my student(s) for the Virtual Learning Program? 
You can register your student by August 7th by clicking this link https://www.hask12.org/community/skyward-online-verification/or by going directly to your Skyward Family login

What if my family is undecided by August 7th on whether to choose the Virtual Learning Program or Face-to-Face Instruction?
Committing by August 7th secures a spot for your student(s). Anyone showing interest after August 7th will be admitted into the Virtual Learning Program based on availability. In order to appropriately staff both our In-Person learning as well as our Virtual Learning program it is important that  families make a commitment by the 7th. 

Do we have to stay with the Virtual Learning Program for the entire 2020-2021 school year?
The Virtual Learning Program is a yearlong commitment. However, if extenuating circumstances arise, students may request a transition to face to face education at the end of the trimester. All requests will be reviewed. If approved, students will be allowed to transition if space is available.

How will the Holly Virtual Learning Program look different from the Continuous Learning Plan from spring 2020?
The Continuous Learning Plan was an emergency response plan designed to respond to the immediate COVID crisis. Holly Virtual Learning Program will be based on a rigorous standards-based curriculum for all students. Students will have the same high expectations for learning and participation as in a traditional classroom. 

How will courses be scheduled for high school students in Virtual Learning?
Students will be assigned the appropriate class based on their transcript and previous classes moving toward graduation. Students will work through Schoology with a designated HHS teacher. Students will have flexibility in pace however, expectations for assignments and assessment deadlines will be communicated by the teacher. Students will have access to the teacher during normal school hours. This course will follow the HAS Calendar and HHS semester calendar.

What type of support will my student need to be successful in the Holly Virtual Learning Program? 
Students will need to be able to:

  • Create and maintain a consistent academic daily schedule 
  • Access to a comfortable and productive learning space
  • Seek help in a timely fashion as needed
  • Practice independent study habits
  • Possess grade appropriate reading, writing, math and computer literacy skills 
  • Parental support

Will there be technology support for students in Virtual Learning? 
Yes, our technology team has a help line established to support students. The details for contacting our technology support team will be shared with students at the start of the school year. 

My student has an IEP or a 504, can they participate? 
Yes, all students are welcome to choose this option. HAS has a highly qualified Special Services Staff that will assist students and families who are interested in the Virtual Program. If your student has a 504 or IEP you will be contacted by our team to provide further support.

Will the curriculum be the same?
Students will engage with the same curriculum as the students participating in Face-to-Face instruction. Curriculum and instruction will be delivered through Schoology, a Learning Management System. Students and families will have access to their course content and their teachers through this system. 

How will my student connect with their teacher?
Teachers will continue to communicate with students via Google Meet in large and small instructional groups as well as one to one meetings as needed. Teachers may also communicate via email, and phone calls as needed. 

How much time will students engage in learning activities each day?
Students should expect to spend six to six and a half hours a day engaged in learning activities. We also recognize that students work at their own pace so learning activities might take more or less time depending on the student. 

Will my student get grades? Will they take assessments? 

Students will receive grades and/or feedback just like in our face-to-face schools. Additionally, High School students Virtual Learning grades will be included in GPA calculations. Students will be taking assessments online.  We are still working on how this will look.

If my student participates in outside programs such as OSTC, DEEP, Dual Enrollment and Work Experience can they do their other courses In-Person or Virtually?
Yes, we can work with our OSTC students as In-Person or Virtual students for the remainder of their courses.

Can my students participate in the Holly Virtual Learning and also go into school for In-Person learning for some classes? 
Students who choose to participate in Virtual learning will have all classes through the virtual platform. Students will not be able to participate in some In-Person and some Virtual courses. This is due to maintaining and minimizing the cohort exposure as well as staff and scheduling purposes for students. 

Will my student still participate in co-curriculars and electives?
Yes, students will be offered co-curricular activities like art and music. Electives will be available at the secondary level. 

Can my student still participate in extracurricular activities?
Yes, a student would be eligible to participate in his or her home school.  If your child is a School of Choice student, he or she will be assigned a home school as well.

If the whole district returns to distance learning due to a COVID-19 outbreak, how would that affect my child?
It will not affect students in the Holly Virtual Learning Program. They will continue as planned.  

What might my child’s daily schedule look like?
The Virtual Learning Program will meet the state-mandated 180 days and 1,098 hours of instructional time, just like our face-to-face buildings. 

The weekly schedule will be a combination of synchronous (scheduled, live & teacher-led) and asynchronous (pre-recorded & student-led) learning activities.

Activity Definition/Explanation Examples

Synchronous Instruction

(Live & Teacher-Led)

  • Whole Group Instruction
  • Small Group Instruction
  • Individualized Support
  • Collaborative Assignments
  • Live Feedback
The course content will be the HAS curriculum and customized for students by the teacher.  Teachers and students engage in online instruction at the same time.

 

  • Small group discussion/lesson with a live teacher
  • Student-led discussions
  • Whole-class lessons
  • Individual virtual meeting with the teacher for support

Asynchronous Instruction
(Pre-Recorded Lessons & Student-Led)

  • Teacher-Recorded Lessons
  • Individual Assignments
  • Online Discussion
  • Written/Recorded Feedback
The course content will be the HAS curriculum and customized for students by the teacher.  This allows for students to flexibility engage with the course content on their own time and at their own pace.

 

  • Student watches video
  • Completes learning tasks
  • Reads textual resources
  • Receives written/recorded feedback

Will students be required to remain actively online each day for the same times/hours of students who attend in-person? Or will there be more flexibility allowing for some evening/weekend classwork?
Classes and instruction will be more extensive and structured than families saw in the spring of 2020, with students requiring Synchronous (live, teacher led) instruction, meetings and discussions. While also allowing for the flexibility in completing assignments that some families may need. The teacher will be available during traditional school hours to support students in one to one, small group and large group virtual meetings. There will be required instructional check-ins between students and teachers each week, during the school day. Teachers will also be recording some instructional sessions to be available for students. Although there will be some flexibility, the expectation will also be that students can and will participate during school hours when needed.

How will my student and I communicate with the teacher? 
All teachers will be available for communication through phone, email and through digital conversations through Schoology, our new Learning Management System. Students and families will have the same access to communicate with teachers as they have prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. 

Special Education

What about students with IEPs? 
We understand there are many uncertainties as we make informed decisions for our students next year. HAS will conduct a review of each student’s IEP in partnership with teachers and parents to reflect the evolving needs of each student. Depending on the public health conditions and the risk phase of our school district when school begins, we will work together to find the best option for your student. 

What if my child will not wear a mask?
We understand that many of our students do not understand why they need to wear a mask and/or do not like to wear one.  Currently, the district is only requiring students at the secondary level to wear masks.  It is recommended for preschool and elementary students, but not required as the district will be implementing a cohort model in our elementary schools.  If there is a medical condition that restricts wearing a mask, please contact the Office of Special Education to provide a form for your physician to complete.   It is essential that you think about where your child is socially and emotionally regarding wearing a mask.   Below are some more helpful tips.  If you need additional help and ideas, please reach out to your special education caseload teacher. 

Here are some helpful information and tips. 

What if my child has a lot of anxiety returning to school?
This may be true for a lot of our students with and without disabilities.  We understand this as a district.  Our Mental & Social Emotional Wellbeing Task Force is creating a social-emotional plan to address any anxiety, trauma, and/or stress our students may be experiencing.  The district will have a referral form for families on our website to ask for assistance.  Please reach out if you need help.  All IEPs and 504s will be reviewed and will address any new concerns with your child.  All staff will be aware of the referral process and will have resources to support your child. 

Will the District conduct evaluations and reevaluations?
Whether we are in-person or remote the district will continue to evaluate students.  If we are remote and your child needs to have an in-person evaluation, we will consult with you to determine what steps we can take to complete a face-to-face evaluation.  All evaluations will be discussed with parents to determine if we continue remotely or in-person. 

Will my next IEP be in-person or on an online platform?
For the first trimester, we will be holding all IEP and 504 meetings remotely.  The Office of Special Education will reassess the option for in-person meetings for Trimester 2.  The district will be limiting the amount of people entering buildings to limit person to person contacts. 

What if I would like to keep my child home and do virtual programming?
The district will be providing the option to choose a virtual school option to all families.  Please see the HAS website if you are interested in registering for full online learning.  If you choose this option, the IEP/504 team will reconvene to determine an educational plan for your child reflecting virtual instruction.  Your student’s current IEP/504 plan may need to be adjusted based on the virtual instruction.  The IEP team will also help you determine if this is the best option for your child. 

Will my IEP change if the Governor has declared all schools go remote?
All IEPs will be reviewed at the start of the year.  Given the unknowns about the future of COVID-19 and its impact on education, we will be discussing what both in-person and remote programs and services will look like at each IEP meeting.  We will include information in all IEPs based on what the team recommends for remote learning.  Last school year’s closure came fast for all of us and we quickly put plans in place for everyone with a good faith effort to implement and follow IEPs.  When we return for the 2020-21 school year, it will be important for IEP teams to have this discussion in the beginning so that we are all prepared for another possible shutdown. 

How will accommodations be met in general education classes?
All staff will continue to follow and implement all IEP/504 plans whether we are remote or in-person.  All plans will be reviewed with parents to determine if any adjustments need to be made based on the current phase of the Governor’s Roadmap for Schools. 

How will my child move between special education and general education classes?
All buildings will be providing a more detailed plan as to how all transitions will be handled closer to the start of the year.  We understand that many of our students with special needs may need a more detailed plan for safety.  As an IEP team, we will be addressing all the needs of your child.  If a student needs a more structured plan, the team will design the plan to meet your child’s needs.  All buildings will be reducing transitions to limit the contact with other students. 

What protections are going to be put in place for students who are more medically fragile?
We understand that many of our students with special needs may need a more detailed plan for safety.  As an IEP team, we will be addressing all the needs of your child.  If a student needs a more structured plan, the team will design the plan to meet your child’s needs.  We are dedicated to helping all students remain safe and will be designing a safety plan for all students that are medically fragile following the state, county, and district guidelines.  Parents are encouraged to reach out to their caseload teacher to begin talking about what will be most appropriate for their child if we are in-person for the 2020-21 school year.  We will make every effort possible, to accommodate the needs of students. 

What if my child has special needs and the district moves to a remote learning environment during a COVID-19 resurgence? 
If in-person instruction is not available due to a resurgence of COVID-19, we will continue to meet the needs of students in our special education programs. To support students who would not be able to fully engage in online or remote learning activities, our staff will provide students and families in the Early On programs, Early Childhood Special Education, K-12 Special Education, and Adult Transition Programs and Services with additional instructional materials and resources. These extended resources will contain various instructional materials and activities.  Staff members will connect with families to ensure parents are comfortable utilizing the resources with their children in the home setting. Service providers will also connect with students through virtual classrooms and virtual sessions.  

How will students receive their IEP and special education services online if the district moves to remote learning? 
Parents of students with IEPs will be contacted directly by their case manager with specific information. The district will make a good faith effort to support students in making progress on IEP goals and objectives.  

How will the 504 team meet the needs of students during this unusual time? 
The District is committed to providing equitable opportunities for all students and understands that flexibility is key in this ever-changing environment. As students’ needs change, the team will review established processes and adapt accordingly. If a parent requests a meeting to discuss current accommodations, depending on the availability of in-person meetings, the 504 team member may hold a virtual meeting or other means to determine if some, or all, of the identified services and/or accommodations can be provided through alternate or additional methods. If a student requires at-home or medical accommodations according to the 504 plans, interventions will be evaluated on an individual basis. 

What if my child requires specialized transportation?
For any student that qualifies for specialized transportation through the IEP process, students will continue to receive these services.  If your child needs any adjustments to their current services based on medical reasons, the team may adjust the IEP to reflect any modifications.  Parents are encouraged to reach out to their special education caseload teachers to further discuss any needs based on medical documentation.  The district will make any effort possible, to meet the students’ needs. 

Will things be different for students that are assigned to ASD, CI, EI, or SXI classrooms?
We understand these programs have many unique qualities and unique student needs.  As a department we are looking at each student, each of the building protocols, and each program to determine what we need to do to keep all students and staff safe.  IEP teams, in consultation with parents, may need to adjust programming to ensure any medical recommendations by your child’s physician are followed with good faith effort. 

If the district is ordered to go to a more Hybrid model, we will make every effort to keep our students in our programs consistently attending school.  Our programs have smaller numbers already in the classroom and can follow most recommended safety precautions.

If my child participates in the virtual program or the Governor has ordered remote learning for all students, will special education staff be available to come into my home to service my child?
If the Governor’s orders direct all schools to go into remote learning, we will not be allowed to provide any students with in-person services.  As an IEP team we will determine what remote learning looks like with your child.  Remote learning for all students is in collaboration with parents.  It will be essential for students to learn to the best of their ability, at home with their parents too.  Special Education staff will provide families with activities and tips.  If you choose to enroll in the district’s virtual program, IEP teams will convene to make any necessary adjustments to your child’s programming and consider the virtual option.   

My student participates in the Early On programming and staff come to my home, will that be still an option? 
The current phase allows us to return to in-person learning.  Early On staff and families need to collaborate on what services will look like once school resumes.  We are requesting staff and families choose to continue to participate in remote, walk-in, and/or in-person services.  For all in-person services in the home, there will be safety protocols put in place to keep everyone safe.  Early On will follow the same procedure to provide coaching strategies and support for families. 

Does my Adult Transition student have the option for virtual learning?
Yes, they have the choice of either in-person or virtual learning.

 

Early Childhood

Will there be pre-school this fall?
At this time due to safety concerns, we are not providing services for tuition based Nursery/Preschool/Latchkey until our district K-12 students are back in buildings for In-person instruction.   If a family has enrolled their child into another program because we are not opening, we will provide the $35 non-refundable fee back to them. 

We are however, providing virtual learning for GSRP and Head Start families that have fully enrolled in the program (met with office staff and all paperwork turned in and signed).  We do want to be clear that we will not be providing virtual services after the district goes back to In-person instruction.
 

Will there be Latchkey provided for before and after school care?
At this time we are planning to provide Latchkey services as in past years once In-person instruction resumes for the district.