FAQ: Fall 2020 Reopening
Below are some of the Frequently Asked Questions that we have received or discussed while planning for the reopening of schools for the fall of 2020-2021:
Learning Options for Fall 2020
Will Gananda Central School District (GCSD) be having classes in-person for fall 2020?
GCSD is planning to have in-person classes for the fall of 2020. At this time we are planning to have our elementary students (pre-K through 5th grade) attending in-person 5 days a week, and our middle and high school students (6th through12th grade) attending 2 days a week in-person (Monday and Tuesday or Wednesday and Thursday) and 3 days a week virtual.
Will GCSD have a virtual learning option available?
Yes, we will have a virtual/remote learning option available for our K-12 grade students that cannot be in school due to health concerns or who choose not to attend in-person.
Will I have a choice in which option I choose for my child to participate in?
Yes, we will provide you with a learning choice, however, once the commitment is made for that choice, it will be from the start of school on Wednesday, September 9 through Friday, January 29, 2021.
What if I do not want my child to attend school in the fall?
If you do not want your child to attend school, you can either choose the virtual/remote learning option or you can choose to homeschool your child. If you choose the homeschool option, you will be responsible for your child's learning for the school year.
When will a final decision on reopening schools be made?
Our reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year need to be submitted to the NYS Education Department by July 31 for review. The NYS Governor will be announcing final decisions regarding reopening schools in the first week of August. Once a final decision has been made, we will announce our plans in greater detail for the upcoming school year.
Medical Questions for Attending School
What if my child has a medical condition that makes them high risk?
If your child had a medical condition that makes them high risk, you can choose the virtual learning option or you can choose to homeschool your child. We would need a doctor's note on file to indicate that your child is medically fragile.
What if someone in my household (child or adult) has a medical condition that makes them high risk?
If someone in your household has a medical condition that makes them high risk and you do not want your child to participate in in-person school, you can send in a doctor's note indicating there is a medically fragile individual in your household and you can opt for virtual learning.
Are physicals and immunizations required to attend school for the 2020-2021 school year?
Because of the impact of COVID-19 on our healthcare system, we recognize scheduling of physicals may be delayed. As such, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) will be permitting students to participate in school for fall 2020 if they have previously had a health examination in the 2018-2019 or 2019-2020 school year. We do recommend if you have a physical scheduled to keep the appointment as immunizations must still be followed. An FAQ on immunizations is available on our website.
Face Masks and Social Distancing Requirements
Will GCSD require students to wear masks at school and on the bus?
Yes, all GCSD students attending school in-person will be required to wear masks both on the school bus and at school. There will be mask breaks throughout the day for students.
Will GCSD require teachers to wear masks at school?
Yes, all teachers will be required to wear masks at school.
What happens if a student refuses to wear a mask in school?
We will remind students that masks are a required safety component and to attend in-person classes they will need to have their mask on. In the event that we have a chronic issue with compliance, we may need to seek disciplinary action.
What if my child has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask?
If your student has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask we will need a doctor's note on file stating as such.
What if my child forgets their mask?
We completely understand that children will forget their masks at times. We will have additional masks on hand for students that forget their masks.
Are all masks acceptable?
Face masks that cover both the nose and mouth are acceptable. Gaiter style masks are currently unacceptable in schools.
Will students be practicing social distancing guidelines?
Yes, students and staff will be practicing social distancing guidelines, or staying at least 6 feet apart, as much as possible. Classrooms will be spaced with desks 6 feet apart, and hallways will have indicators to keep 6 feet of spacing.
How many students will be in a classroom?
Based on the calculator provided by the NY State Department of Education, most classrooms in GCSD can have approximately 20-22 students per class while maintaining social distancing guidelines. GCSD is working to decrease that number as much as possible with a preferred student maximum of 15-20 students per class depending on the classroom size.
COVID19 Protocols for Symptoms, Testing, Contact Tracing
What if a student or staff begin to show symptoms at school?
Students or Staff that begin to show symptoms at school will be sent to a COVID-19 Nurses Office for evaluation. Each school will have two separate nurse offices; one will be specifically for students and staff showing COVID-19 symptoms and one will be for all other nurse related needs. You can see more information under the Containment Protocols heading on the Health and Safety Tips webpage. Additional information about the district's Testing Protocols and Contact Tracing is also available on the Governor's Spotlight webpage.
What if a student or staff tests positive for COVID-19?
If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, we will be following the guidance of the Wayne County Department of Health regarding any quarantining or shutdowns needed. Once those decisions have been made we will contact parents. You can see more information under the Containment Protocols heading on our Health and Safety Tips webpage. Additional information about the district's Testing Protocols and Contact Tracing is also available on the Governor's Spotlight webpage.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
How often will classrooms be cleaned and disinfected?
Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily using an electrostatic spray cleaner to help cover all surfaces and hard to reach places.
How often will busses be cleaned and disinfected?
Busses will be cleaned and disinfected daily using an electrostatic spray cleaner.
What chemicals are being used to clean and disinfect classrooms and busses?
Will hand sanitizer be available in school?
Yes, hand sanitizer will be available in the classrooms and throughout the school buildings for students and staff to use. We will be using Streamline Polymers Gel Hand Sanitizer at 70%.
Will UV or HEPA filters be installed in the air system?
No, we are not currently required to install UV or HEPA filters. Schools are already required to have more fresh air circulating throughout buildings than most other industries so at this time we are not adding any additional air filtration systems. We will have windows open as much as possible in the classrooms, and we have adjusted the airflow to bring in as much outside air as possible into the buildings.
Lunches, Extracurriculars, and Sports
How will students have lunch?
Lunch will still be provided for students at school as we have in the past. Students can also bring in their own lunches. We will utilize outdoor spacing as much as possible, our younger students will be in their classrooms for lunch, or we will use gymnasium space to help spread students out more.
Will students have after school activities?
There will not be after school activities at the start of the 2020-2021 school year. We will evaluate this as the year progresses.
Will students still participate in sports programs?
On July 16, 2020, the NYS Department of Education released new guidance on Fall sports programs. The start dates were pushed back to September 21st. We do not know if this will change again, however, they have released guidance if we need to delay the start of Fall sports again until the Spring of 2021. Our Athletic Director, John Tichacek, released a letter outlining the changes to the Sports community.
If I have to pick up my child from school, can I go into the building?
If you need to pick up your child, go to the main entrance of your child's building and enter the main office. Someone will bring your student out to you.
Contacts for COVID19 Questions
Who do I contact if I have a COVID-19 related question?
Kim Roach is our COVID-19 Resource Lead and she can answer any of your COVID-19 health-related questions. She can be reached by email at KRoach@Gananda.org or by calling 315-986-3521. If you have a COVID-19 compliance question, you can reach out to our COVID-19 Safety Coordinator, Dr. Shawn Van Scoy at Svanscoy@gananda.org or by calling 315-986-3521ext. 8-4313.