Good morning South Middle community:
Thank you for the questions that have been submitted so far. I thought it might help you to make a better informed decision about which learning option to choose if I went ahead and shared answers to the early questions I have received. You can find the questions (bolded) and answers below.
What will the individual school day look like?
For students who choose the blended learning option, their week will be as follows:
Mondays - 10 am to 2:30 pm , all students will be at home and have a Zoom meeting as a class with each teacher on their schedule for approximately 25 minutes. There will be a 5 minute break between classes and a scheduled lunch break for students and staff during that time frame.
Tuesday - Group A will attend their 1,3,5,7 classes in person for approximately 90 minutes each. Group B will be working at home on independent assignments for classes 1,3,5,7.
Wednesday - Group B will attend their 1,3,5,7 classes in person for approximately 90 minutes each. Group A will be working at home on independent assignments for classes 1,3,5,7.
Thursday - Group A will attend their 2,4,6,8 classes in person for approximately 90 minutes each. Group B will be working at home on independent assignments for classes 2,4,6,8.
Friday - Group B will attend their 2,4,6,8 classes in person for approximately 90 minutes each. Group A will be working at home on independent assignments for classes 2,4,6,8
We are using an Odd and Even approach so that students will maintain a 90 minute block of ELA both days they are in person.
For students who choose the virtual option, please visit the Middle School Virtual Information page for a detailed description of what their weekly/daily schedule will look like. You can find that page here.
Where will lunch be held?
We anticipate using social distancing practices to hold lunch in the cafeteria. If all students choose in-person, we would have approximately 100 students in each lunch period. Our cafeteria is large enough to separate students 6 feet apart. Additionally, students will be seated by team in the cafeteria (Red team on one side and Blue team on the other) in order to prevent mixing of cohorts of students. Lunch will be grab and go for those who are buying. This will increase the speed at which students can move through the line and still maintain proper distancing.
What will recess be like?
We will be encouraging opportunities for students to go outside for recess during the lunch period. Students will not have access to playground balls and will not be able to bring those to school. They will be asked to social distance even when outside.
What will the bathroom situation be?
Students will have scheduled bathroom and water breaks multiple times throughout the day in order to allow them to take care of personal hygiene and to get re hydrated by filling up their own personal water bottles. Additionally, some urinals and sinks will be disabled to promote social distancing. Staff will also monitor the restrooms in order to minimize the number of students using the facility at the same time.
What will classrooms look like if our current seating is tables where kids face each other? Will there be individual desks?
In classrooms where there are tables, there will be only one student per table. In other classes, individual desks will be used to maintain social distancing. We have conducted a detailed inventory of each classroom. Students will not have to share seating.
How will hallway travel work?
There will be signage throughout the building that shows traffic flow and signs that demonstrate what 6 ft apart looks like. Staff will also be present to encourage students to maintain social distancing. We will also be staggering dismissal times from each class in order to limit the number of students in the hallway at a time.
What about ventilation in the classrooms? Will they be opening windows? Outdoor classrooms?
All HVAC systems have or will be inspected and filters will be regularly checked and changed as needed. Teachers will be encouraged to open windows and/or take their classes outside when appropriate.
What about teachers? I would like to know if there are changes in staffing prior to making an in person decision.
We will not know which staff members will be virtual or in-person until around July 31st.
Do students still bring backpacks, binders, planners, etc?
Students will only bring their chromebook (with case) and lunch, if bringing lunch, to school with them each day. Students should not bring a backpack and they will not be assigned lockers this year. It would not be possible to maintain social distance at the lockers. Additionally, it will cut down on congestion in the hallways. Students will be provided with a clear bag filled with the supplies they need for their classes. If bringing cell phones, students should keep them in their chromebook case throughout the day. Their school supply bag will remain at school each day. You can find a list of what will be included in the supply bag below.
Middle School Supplies - 2020-21 School Year
EXPO dry-erase markers (black, red, blue, green)
Pens, black - 2
Pens, blue - 2
Highlighter - 2
2-pocket plastic folder - 2
Composition notebook - 2
3 x 3 Post-it note
Spiral notebook, 1 subject, wide-ruled - 2
Box of #2 pencils (12 count)
Box of colored pencils
Ziplock three-gallon bags
Hand-held pencil sharpener
Personal dry-erase board (9x12, 2-sided)
Can different children from the same family select different learning options (i.e., Blended vs Virtual)? Yes
Can I request which Group (A or B) my child is in?
Once parents have selected their option of Blended or Virtual learning, students attending in-person will be assigned to one of two equally sized groups determined by the first letter of their last name. All children in a household will be in the same group and attend on the same day. For families with children with different last names, the last name of the oldest child will be used to assign all students in that household to the same group. Families are kept together on the same schedule across all grade levels. As you can imagine, grouping students is a challenging task so that classes are only half the size they have been in the past. For this reason, we will not be able to accommodate most requests to change groups.
What if I have questions about my child’s IEP or related services? Please contact SSD Area Coordinator, Kelly Watson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I have additional questions? Please use the Google Form linked here to submit questions or you can always e-mail Toby McQuerrey at: email@example.com
As a reminder, there will be a community meeting where additional details and answer to parent-submitted questions will be answered next Tuesday. More information to follow.