Frequently Asked Questions

  • This webpage will address questions and comments regarding the reopening of schools. This page is a work in progress, and will be updated regularly as new information becomes available and as new questions are asked.

    Last updated Aug. 26, 2020


     

FAQ from the Monroe County Health Department

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  • Health and Safety

    *NEW* What are mask requirements on playgrounds at recess? Masks will be required on playground because it is hard to maintain more than 12 feet of distance on the playground.

    Will sanitizer be installed around the school for children to use? Yes.

    How will you ensure children are kept safe during mask breaks? They will be protected by social distancing and/or barriers.

    Are there going to be barriers between or at student desks? Yes, depending on the situation or during mask breaks.

    Will drills still happen? Yes.

    Are all students and staff going to be tested prior to ever going into the school? No. The district cannot require students and staff to get tested. The district will rely on parents/guardians’ judgment

    What about a child who is asthmatic, if they cough or start having a hard time breathing, will they be sent to the nurse’s office and be sent home? Any child showing symptoms of any kind will be sent to the nurse for evaluation unless the nurse is already aware of another health condition.

    My son often requires use of a nebulizer in the winter with cold congestion, but no fevers. Will the school give a hard time for kids like this to attend school? No.

    Should students only stay home if they have a fever combined with other COVID19 symptoms? If a student has a cough and no fever/other symptoms can they still come to school? Attendance at school will be certified each day by the Qualtrix app. More information will be sent to families in the coming weeks.

    Why aren’t temp checks being done at entry to building? Temperature checks should occur before children arrive at school, per NYS guidance. Parents/guardians will complete a survey each morning for each child to indicate any possible COVID-19 symptoms.

    If desks are six feet apart, will they be allowed to remove masks during class? No, mask breaks will be built into the student day.

    If a student is sent home for a period of time due to symptoms or possible exposure, will they switch to learning remotely during that time? Yes.

    If a student is sent home for a period of time due to symptoms, do they need to quarantine for 10 days OR negative test in order to come back? Per the most recent guidance from the Monroe County Health Department, students will need a doctor’s note and resolution of symptoms to return to school.

    If a child gets sick (even if not COVID-19) will the parents of their classmates be notified? No, parents of classmates would only be notified if the Monroe County Health Department determines it is necessary due to a positive COVID-19 case.

    What will happen to students who take off their masks and cough or sneeze in someone’s face on purpose? That scenario would be considered insubordination / endangering health and safety. That situation would be handled per the Code of Conduct (which is being updated).

    What are the plans for contact tracing? Will everyone who comes in contact with any member of a class be notified if a student/staff member tests positive? The Monroe County Health Department will take the lead on contact tracing. They will determine who needs to be notified based on their findings.

    Can students have their own bottle of hand sanitizer in their backpack? Per NYS guidelines, students cannot take alcohol-based sanitizer on a bus. Non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer is fine.

    Will you be hiring more nurses or other specific types of staff? No.

    Will masks be worn during physical education? It depends on the activity.

    How will the district provide testing for COVID-19? Recent comments by Governor Cuomo regarding COVID-19 testing in schools have raised questions as they are contrary to the state’s own guidance documents recommendations. Such testing requires public health oversight, medical decision making and specifically-trained staff and therefore is the responsibility of the primary care physician or other external medical provider. School nurses will work closely with primary care physicians and the Monroe County Department of Public Health in a supportive role. Ultimately, the district believes that parents/guardians are responsible for medical decisions regarding their children. 

    How long does my student need to stay home if they tested positive OR a doctor said they likely have COVID-19? If your student has symptoms they should stay at home and away from others as much as possible until all three of the following have happened: at least 10 days have passed since their symptoms started and; they haven’t had a fever (100°F +) in at least 72 hours without using any medication to lower fever and; they are no longer experiencing a cough or breathing difficulties.

    How will the district be able to decipher COVID-19 from other illnesses like the common cold? Due to the similarity in symptoms between COVID-19 and other illnesses like the common cold, students who present symptoms while at school will be sent to an isolation area for assessment by the nurse and/or to await parent/guardian pick-up. The district recommends that parents/guardians reach out to their child’s primary care provider or other external medical professional for input and guidance on care.

    Will students be required to wear masks all day? Students will be required to wear masks but breaks will be incorporated into the day so they can remove them. Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering, including students where such covering would impair their physical health or mental health are not subject to the required use of a face covering, per physician’s documentation.

    What happens if my child’s face covering breaks or they forget to bring it with them? The district will have disposable masks for students who need one.

    Will students have access to water fountains? Traditional water fountains will not be open for student or staff use. Bottle-filler water fountains will be open for use and students are encouraged to bring a water bottle with them to school. The district will also provide a water bottle for each student.

    Will the school district be offering any wrap around services/care for community groups (i.e. Chili Rec.)?  Yes. More details will be available by Aug. 18.

    What will restroom procedures look like? The occupancy guidelines for restrooms are that occupants must wear a face covering at all times and maintain a minimum social distance of 6 feet whenever possible. Disinfection of frequently touched surfaces will occur frequently throughout the day. Signage that reinforces proper hand hygiene will be placed in restrooms.

    What will Gates Chili do to ensure the safety and health of its students and staff? Gates Chili will adhere to health and safety protocols to include increased hygiene and sanitation protocols to include deep cleaning and frequent cleaning of high-risk and frequently-touched surfaces; training of students and staff; enforcing social distancing; keeping students with their cohort, to include recess and lunch; limiting parent/guardian and visitor access to the office area only; and avoiding large gatherings, such as assemblies. Each classroom and school bus will be provided with hand sanitizer, paper towels, disposable gloves, tissues, bleach-free disinfectant wipes, and disinfectant cleanser for use during the school day. Parents may send supplies for the classroom.

    Will students and staff have to maintain a six-foot distance at all times? Per NYSED guidance, schools must ensure that students and staff are protected by requiring at least one of the following: social distancing of six feet OR barriers OR face masks/coverings. 

    *UPDATED* Are cloth face masks acceptable face coverings? Yes, per guidance from the NYS Department of Health, acceptable face coverings include but are not limited to cloth-based face coverings (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut) and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose. Per the Monroe County Health Department, bandanas, flannel masks, masks with valves and gaiters are no longer acceptable face coverings.

    Are students required to wear masks and social distance on a school bus? Yes, all students are required to wear a mask and should maintain appropriate social distancing. The only exception to the mask requirement is for students whose physical or mental health would be impaired by wearing a mask. Those students must receive prior approval and maintain social distancing of six feet from other individuals on the bus.

    Will temperature checks be done to ensure that no one has a fever or is ill? Parents will be required to take their child’s temperature at home and complete an online screening daily. Schools will have thermometers on hand to take temperatures of anyone presenting with the symptoms of illness. More information on daily health screenings will be communicated in the coming weeks.

    What happens if a student or a staff member tests positive for COVID-19? Gates Chili will follow current NYSDOH guidelines to address any COVID-19 positive cases. School leaders will identify and notify other students/staff who may have been exposed.

    What happens if a student or a staff member gets sick at school? Students and staff who are sick should remain at home until they are fever-free (100° F +) for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol or Motrin. Students and staff who get sick at school will be referred to the school nurse and moved to an isolation area. Parents/guardians will be contacted.

    What is required in order for students and/or staff who had symptoms of COVID-19 to return to school? Students and staff who had symptoms of COVID-19 may return to school after providing documentation from a healthcare provider plus symptom resolution. If the student/staff had a confirmed case of COVID-19, they will need a release from isolation as required by DOH and NYSED guidance. As a reminder, sick children should be kept home until they are fever-free (100° F +) for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol or Motrin.

    What if a student or their family is directed to quarantine at home? If a student needs to quarantine, they will complete their work at home.

     

    Facilities

    Will teachers be allowed fans in the classroom? Yes.

    Have you and your staff simulated a classroom set up to see how your hybrid plan will work (for all departments meaning for teachers, custodial staff, health office, etc.)? The district is still gathering all necessary supplies, but we will be doing this.

    Will the rooms be cleaned between classes in the MS and HS? Yes.

    How many kids per classroom? What about gym? This will vary from school to school and classroom to classroom. The district is determining class size based on the results of the enrollment survey received this week.

    How is ventilation going to work during the winter when its freezing outside and windows and doors can't be opened? NYSED Office of Facilities Planning mandates we turn over the air in our learning spaces a minimum of 4 times an hour. This is why we often get complaints in the winter about cold air being blown into the room. Once the unit reaches the heating or cooling set point for the space it starts turning over the air by bringing in outside air. To improve ventilation, we are going to start the heating and cooling schedules two hours earlier than we have in the past. This will ensure the set point is reached well before students and staff arrive in the room and the unit starts bringing in fresh air before students and staff arrive. This will ensure the best ventilation possible. We will also encourage staff to open windows if the weather permits and opening the windows does not present a danger to students or staff.

    What accommodations have been made for schools with open classrooms? Class size has been reduced and social distancing measures are in place to accommodate these areas.

    Is the pool open or will it be used? No.

     

    Homeschooling and Alternate/Outside Placements

    What is the plan for Career and Technical Education (CTE) students who attend WEMOCO? CTE classes will be held in person and remotely. Please check the BOCES 2 website for the most up-to-date information.

    What about Special Education students who go to the ADL house and HaAS program? Students in those programs will attend in person four days per week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

    What is the difference between remote learning and homeschooling? Families wishing to homeschool their children are required by New York State Education Department to adhere to the NYS Part 100.10 Regulations. Families are required to submit a yearly plan after receiving acknowledgement of their Letter of Intent to homeschool. Families are also required to submit quarterly progress reports documenting the student’s progress over the quarter. If a child returns to the district after homeschooling, it is up to the principal's discretion what, if any, credit will be granted for coursework completed in homeschooling. Students who are homeschooled do not receive a diploma. A Letter of Completion would be awarded if all NYS Part 100.10 requirements are met. Under the remote learning model of the Gates Chili Reopening School Buildings Plan, students would still be enrolled at GCCSD and follow the district’s curriculum.

    If I choose not to send my child to kindergarten this year, does it mean they will be in kindergarten next year? Placement in kindergarten is dependent upon a number of variables, including district-utilized assessments and age. Student grade-level placement is at the district’s discretion based on these criteria.

    If I choose to send my child to private or parochial school this year but then GCCSD re-opens fully, can I re-enroll my child at that time? Yes.

     

    Hybrid and Remote Instruction

    How is this is going to work for UPK? Late in the day on Friday, Aug. 14, the district received notice from the state of an anticipated reduction in aid for the statewide full-day Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Program. Without full funding, the district is unable to operate its program as originally designed. If your child's placement in UPK is impacted, the district will reach out to you directly by the end of the day on Monday, Aug. 24. Please wait to contact us with inquiries until Tuesday, Aug. 25.

    When will we hear more about what UPK will look like? Welcome letters for UPK families will be mailed the week of August 31. This letter will have detailed information regarding hybrid and remote instruction, COVID-19 safety procedures, and opportunities to
    meet your child’s teacher.

    What kinds of factors will the district consider in order to determine whether or not a student can switch learning models? Each request will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and it will take into consideration school, grade-level and capacity.

    With the hybrid system, are the teachers going to teach new material while the students are in the school and while virtually learning at home or going over what they have learned in class? Both.

    Will the remote learning require kids to log on live? Exact schedules have yet to be determined.

    After the fall semester, will parents get a new survey asking about remote or hybrid learning? Yes. Note that your student’s teacher may change.

    Will parents be notified prior to the start of school as to how frequently extra support will be provided? Yes.

    How will band and art classes be handled with remote learning? Teachers will engage students in virtual lessons.

    To what standard of accountability will teachers and students be held for the quality of remote education even in a hybrid model?

    How will grading work for the fall semester? The district is still finalizing and will release more information the first week of September.

    Will there be Regents examinations? The New York State Board of Regents will determine if Regents examinations will happen this year.

    Will advanced classes still be offered? Yes.

    Will students have the same teacher on classroom and remote days? Yes.

    Will this require more teachers? No.

    Could there be a scenario where a teacher teaches to their 8-10 in class students at the same time as zooming with the remote learners? Yes, the district is working toward this.

    If you know the number of students who will not be attending in person, will that allow the opportunity for other students to attend more than two days a week in person? No.

    Will the district provide guidelines for the amount of remote work time and amount of assignments that should be expected from children at each grade level? Yes.

    What if families are not able to meet the expectations for a course, but they have already signed up for remote learning? Teacher will work with the family to find success.

    When can families who choose remote learning expect to find out more details about their child's teacher, schedule, and courses? This will vary for elementary and secondary. The district is carefully planning staffing and programmatic changes based on the results of the enrollment requests. This information will be shared with families in the coming weeks.

    Will the kids who are hybrid be able to watch the lessons at any time (after daycare/work)? Students will be able to view recorded lessons at any time, however not all lessons will be recorded. It will depend on what the learning activities are for the day.

    If the hybrid model is not working is it possible to change to remote learning? It will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Important to note, a change may result in a change of teacher and/or schedule.

    How will students receive extra help if they are remote only? All teachers will be required to offer office hours in addition to their class time.

    What will be required for elementary students during the home portion of hybrid learning? Will it be online class or just worksheets and videos? Teachers will offer office hours and provide mini lessons via video and independent work that would normally happen during the school day.

    Is there flexibility in when the students will be expected to complete their work? Yes, unless the assigned work is in preparation for the next day’s lesson.

    Will students who are learning remotely have access to live classroom teaching? Yes.

    Will students who are hybrid and remote be in the same class with the same teacher? Possibly. This will depend on the enrollment numbers, staffing and at the secondary level—course. This will be shared in the coming weeks.

    What is the fall semester? The fall semester is first and second quarters (through the end of January).

    Is there a list of tutors available and will there be a cost for tutors? The district will provide a list of tutors, but it is up to the individual parent to make arrangements and pay for services, unless tutoring is part of an IEP.

    How will remote learners get their physical education credit for this school year? There will be virtual physical education classes for remote learners with a teacher. Physical education is a mandated requirement for graduation and at all levels. Students will participate in remote physical education learning opportunities under our current model. These opportunities will include, but not be limited to, health-related fitness projects, home-based movement opportunities and office hour check-in meetings with our physical education staff.

    What will chorus and band look like for secondary students? Plans for these classes are still being developed to ensure the health and safety of students and staff.

    Will class sizes be smaller if only half the students are in school? We are expecting that class sizes would be smaller, approximately 10-15 students per class, however, this cannot be finalized until we know how many students are enrolling in the hybrid model.

    What does remote learning look like? Remote learning will be a mix of synchronous (live virtual instruction) and asynchronous (students can complete at their own pace) work. The current plan in the works will have students checking in with their teachers a minimum of four days per week. All district students will learn remotely on Wednesdays, giving staff time to prep lessons and check in with students virtually.

    Can families switch between hybrid and remote instruction models? While programmatic changes are challenging, we understand that extenuating circumstances may occur. Consideration will be given on a case by case basis and may result in a change of schedule and/or teachers.

    What supports and tools are being provided to teachers to better manage teaching remote/virtual learners? Extensive professional development has been ongoing this spring, summer and will continue throughout the school year. In addition, each staff member will receive training through the GC CARES Professional Learning Series Sept. 8-11.

    Will students still receive services such as OT, PT, etc.? Yes.

    Will staff report on Wednesdays when all students are remote learning? Yes, all staff will report on Wednesdays through September. The district will reassess for October and going forward.

      

    School Nutrition / Meals

    Will vending machines and snacks be available to students? No.

    If a student pays for their meal with cash, how will they receive change? The change will be applied directly to the student's MyPaymentsPlus meal account. 

    Will you be offering meals for remote learners? Yes, meals will be available for drive-through pick-up at Gates Chili Middle School Door #8 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. each school day.

    Will lunches be free or come out of our kids accounts when school starts? Meals will be charged to student accounts.

    How does the lunch work for remote learners? Will it be the same as if in school? The district will offer drive-up meals each day for any students who are learning remotely on any given day. Location and time will be confirmed in the coming weeks.  

    Which would be easier/most hygienic--send a lunch or have my kids buy lunch? This is a family decision, but parents are encouraged to send lunches if they are able to do so. Our food services prepare meals in a safe and clean environment.

    Are students required to be social distanced while consuming meals in the cafeteria or classroom? Yes, students must be six feet apart OR be separated by a barrier while consuming meals.

    Who will have access to school meals? School meals will continue to be available to all students, including those attending school in person and those learning remotely. For students who are learning remotely, breakfast and lunch will be available for pick-up at Gates Chili Middle School. Pre-determined hours will be communicated to parents/guardians through the district website.

     

    School Calendar and Schedules

    *NEW* Will there be sports this fall? As of August 24, 2020, the Governor stated that fall athletics can begin in September 21, 2020. We are working with the NYSPHSAA and Section V on specific program guidelines and various levels of participation. 

    *NEW* How do I qualify for athletics if I am a remote student (grades 7-12)? All students qualify for athletics if they are a Bona Fide student. A Bona Fide student is anyone who takes three courses + physical education. 

    Is attendance mandatory? Yes.

    Will students receive more school breaks? As of now there is no plan to make additional changes to the school calendar.

    Is back to school night cancelled? Each school will announce its plans for back-to-school nights.

    Since there are so many questions that are in works of getting answers, do you think there could be a delay of the start of in person learning? There is a delay. The first day of school for students is Monday, Sept. 14.

    A lot of holidays fall on Mondays. How is this fair to kids whose in-person days include Mondays? Teachers will take this into consideration when planning their lessons for individual groups of students.

    Will incoming kindergarten, sixth- and ninth-graders be able to have an orientation this year? We are working on this. Buildings will communicate the specific plans for their grade level in the coming weeks.

    When will you re-evaluate for the second semester? The district will continue to evaluate throughout this process. A new enrollment survey will go out towards the end of the first semester.

    What date does the second semester start?  Monday, February 1.

    How will the hybrid model work for secondary-level students? Will they rotate through all the classes in person during the two days they're in school? Secondary-level students will have an eight-period day so they will see every teacher on their two in-person instruction days. The exception would be classes like physical education and science labs that don’t normally meet every day.

    What will the remote model schedule look like for secondary-level students? We are in the process of finalizing these details. Classes will be offered during normal school hours although some lessons may be recorded so they can be viewed at a later time.   

    Will secondary-level students still be on an eight-day schedule? No.

    Are there any classes that will not be offered? This is still being determined based on enrollment and staffing.

    What if working families don’t have childcare for the three days the students are home at the elementary level? We understand this is difficult. You can find a list of local daycares by clicking here.

    As the year progresses, will students return to more days at school? We don’t know at this time. It will depend on the guidelines from the NYSED and NYSDOH.

    What is the first day of school for students? The first day of school for students in grades UPK-12 is Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, pending Board of Education approval on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

    Why did the first day of school change? The district has proposed a change to the first day of instruction to allow for a series of comprehensive staff development days from Sept. 8-11. These additional days will be focused on essential training for staff on COVID-19 transmission and prevention protocols; providing additional professional learning to support more effective digital instruction and extensive training in social-emotional and culturally-responsive instruction.

    Why didn’t the district pick a model where students attend school on two consecutive days? The district considered a model where students attend school on either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday but decided against it because doing so would have meant some students were away from the classroom for five consecutive days. The proposed model allows students in both Group A and Group B to be out of the classroom for a maximum of three days, which is better for student learning.

    Will visitors be allowed? If so, will visitors be required to wear masks? Parents and other visitors will be allowed in the office area, but not in classrooms or other school areas.  Visitors will wear a face covering while on campus. 

     

    Special Education

    How are special education classes going to be handled on Wednesdays when they are not in class?  Wednesdays for students with disabilities and their general education peers will look similar. Students will have time in the day, if needed, to connect with their teachers to receive academic support. Additionally, special education teachers and related services providers will ensure that students with disabilities have activities to complete that will reinforce and/or enhance instruction and support learners in working towards their IEP goals.

    What qualifies a child to be able to attend 4 days a week? IEP? 504 Plan? 8-1-1 Program? What specifically is considered for this? All students who have an IEP should expect to attend four days per week. Teachers will ensure that the proper modifications and accommodations are made so that students with Section 504 plans continue to progress in the hybrid model.

    How will children who have special services (PT, OT, Speech, etc.) be able to receive their services if they are in the remote-only learning plan? Similar to the spring, students will have access to virtual interventions from related service personnel.

    What will happen with the kids that were getting services but haven't yet received an IEP? Will they be able to go to school in person four days a week? These students will follow the two-day hybrid model. During the days they are in attendance, they will receive these non-mandated services to the greatest extent possible.

    How will you be utilizing paraeducators for students with IEPs? Since students with disabilities will be attending four days per week, paraprofessionals will support students in person. If families choose to have their children participate remotely, paraprofessionals will assist with synchronous learning opportunities to the greatest extent possible.

    Will students with disabilities continue to receive services when school reopens? Yes, students with disabilities will continue to receive services as indicated in their Individualized Educational Program (IEP). An IEP meeting may be held to determine most appropriate services.

    Will my student with a disability be able to attend in person four days per week? Any student with an IEP who attends an in-district program is eligible to attend school in person four days per week as part of Group C of the Hybrid Instruction Model.

     

    Transportation

    Will parents of elementary-aged children who transport children to and from school have to enter the schools for drop-off and pick-up? This will vary by building and will be communicated in the coming weeks.

    If we chose bus transportation, can we change our decision as the school year progresses? Yes.

    Will there be a bus safety training for kindergarten students? This is under development. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.

    How will buses be cleaned? Buses will be cleaned after morning and afternoon routes. Drivers and attendants will clean the handrails and tops of the seat backs as these are high touch areas. Additionally, buses will be disinfected at the conclusion of each trip.

    Will buses be equipped with hand sanitizer? Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is not permitted by the New York State Education Department on school buses due to flammability concerns. Non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be provided.

     

    Social-Emotional Wellness

    What is the district doing for the social emotional needs of the students? Social workers and counselors will be made available to students who need support. In addition, all students will take part in community-building circles and other restorative practices to support social-emotional wellness.

    Will a child who learns remotely have access to the school psychologist? Yes, and a school counselor and/or a social worker.

     

    Communication and Connectivity

    Will parents be required to purchase insurance for use of laptops at home? We are currently looking at this process and will be sure to communicate with decisions are finalized.

    Will all age groups UPK-12 have access to computers for the remote learning? Yes.

    Will the kids be able to keep the laptops home? They will need to bring them back and forth to school.

    Do the laptops provided by the district have the ability to attach an ethernet cable for faster connection or are they only on Wi-Fi? Some have the direct capability and others do not. It depends on the laptop model.

    Will students be expected to bring laptops back and forth to school? Yes.

    Will Schoology be available to all students? Yes, all students K-12 will utilize Schoology.

    Will remote learning for elementary students only be on computers, or a mix of computers, workbooks, and physical handouts? If we are doing remote learning, is there a way to pick up any worksheets? The district will provide students the necessary workbooks, textbooks and handouts needed for their class.

    Will children receive district-issued devices again this year? Yes, Gates Chili will distribute devices to students and teach students how to login to all applicable software so they may complete work at home.

    What communication tools will teachers use to stay in touch with students and parents? The district will use its existing communication channels including automated phone calls, email, social media, districts newsletters, the Gates Chili CSD website, Schoology and Microsoft Office 365, as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic.

    How will school closures and/or changes to the instruction model be communicated? The district will utilize its emergency notification system to call all families to notify of any changes to our instructional day or plan. In addition, the district will email all families and post to its website. To update your personal information including phone numbers and email addresses, login to your SchoolTool Parent Portal. For directions on how to access the parent portal and/or update your personal information, go to gateschili.org/ParentPortalAccess. Please note approval may take 1-2 business days. 

     

    Other

    Will secondary students be able to use lockers? Not to start the school year, but as the weather turns colder the district will reevaluate this.

    Who is developing the specific plans and procedures—administrators, teachers, staff, parents, or a combination? All groups provided input.

    How is staffing? Are most teachers returning? The district is working on staffing now. More information will be shared in the coming weeks.

    Will teachers be assigned to remote learning OR hybrid instruction? The district is working on staffing now. More information will be shared in the coming weeks.

    Will teachers have to split their time between online learners and in person learners? The district is working on staffing now. More information will be shared in the coming weeks.

    If sports happen and a student is remote learning, will there be transportation to the sporting practice/games/matches? Yes.

    If there are sports, musicals, clubs, etc., will kids that are learning remotely still be able to participate? Yes.

    Will students be able to use the playground for recess? Yes.

    Will my elementary child be taking supplies home each night or where they be space available for them to be left in school? It depends on the supplies. Students will be required to bring laptops back and forth with them.

    Are there any concerns with the availability of substitute teachers? Yes, there was a substitute teacher shortage before the COVID-19 pandemic. You can apply to be a substitute teacher at www.gateschili.org/jobs.

    What staffing work is being done? Will teachers and staff be moving between grades and/or buildings? The district is looking at all scenarios.

    Will there be an after review so if needed in the future, we will have the plans and what worked? Yes, the district is constantly debriefing to determine what is working and what is not working.

    What specifically was learned during spring closure? What worked for teachers and what didn’t? It was evident that students needed more synchronous learning opportunities in order to stay engaged and attend class regularly.

    Will the district layout expectations (assessment/ learning objectives)? Yes, the district will follow all NYS guidelines for assessment.

    If remote learning is chosen, will they need the same school supplies as a hybrid student? Will there be updates to the school supply lists? Many of the school supplies will be the same, but lists are being updated.

    Will substitute teachers go through the same training that regular teachers go through? Substitute teachers will receive the same health and safety training as all staff. Long-term substitutes will have access to the same professional development as district teachers.

    Will students be using their lockers? There will be limited locker use to start the school year.

    How are the capital construction projects going? Will it continue during the school year? Construction has been advancing despite the pandemic. It will be ongoing throughout the school year as long as labor and materials are available.

    Will student athletes that select remote instruction be allowed to participate in athletics? The NYSPHSAA has confirmed that students that participate in three courses + physical education are considered a bona fide student and eligible for athletics. Currently, all districts in NYS are planning to start fall athletics on Sept. 21. Online registrations will open on Aug. 21. These dates are subject to change and will be communicated if changes occur.

    Do the hybrid and/or remote instruction models reduce educational expenses or lower taxpayer costs? No. The district will continue to provide instruction to all students five days a week, although some students have opted to learn remotely every day. Our facilities and staffing needs have not changed. In some instances, the COVID-19 pandemic has created added expenses. Schools are now required to transport fewer students on each bus, provide new safeguards, purchase technology and offer professional development on safety protocols and online learning platforms.