• This page is a work-in-progress and will be updated as we gather more answers to your questions.

In-School Learning Questions

  • If schools will be limited to 50% capacity, how can all elementary students be in-house?

    Students (K-6 in-school learning plan) would be spread out among all 10 of our school buildings. Students may not be in their home school under these plans.

    Will parents be able to opt-out of in-school learning and just do distance learning? If so, who will be responsible for the daily distance learning assignments and lessons?

    We do not yet know if students can opt-out of in-school learning. The District is responsible for delivering education to students with medical conditions that keep them from coming to school.

    NYSED guidance suggests that school districts are responsible for delivering education to all students whether they decide to go into a school building or not. The guidance also suggests that this recommendation is only for students with pre-existing conditions or a disability that puts them at a higher risk so we are looking at how we can do that. We need to have a teacher for every student, whether they are home or in school buildings. Our focus is on equity in education and access for all.

    What is the student to teacher ratio going to be?

    We need to abide by the social distance guidelines and maintain 6-feet apart. It will most likely be a 13:1, student to teacher ratio.

    Is there talk about having our 9-12th-grade students return to school in September?

    KCSD is considering all options, but focusing on the youngest learners, students with disabilities and English Language Learners, as well as parental needs for daycare.

    What are the plans for Universal Pre-K?

    UPK students will be attending school in-person.

    What about kids with IEPs who really need the one on one help?

    We will honor all IEPs to give students what they need. Our students with disabilities with the highest level of need will be brought back to in-person learning with daily attendance.

    In the case of in-person schooling, will the district be providing masks to all faculty, staff, and students who do not have one?

    Yes. The District will be providing and is currently procuring masks/PPE, hand sanitizer, and thermometers. We will do everything we can to keep our students safe and masks do make a huge difference.

    Do the students have to wear N-95 masks or are cloth masks acceptable?

    Cloth masks are acceptable according to the Health Department and the District will be providing masks to students who do not have one.

    How does the district plan to educate students on the importance of wearing masks?

    The District is developing those lessons (wearing masks, personal hygiene, social distancing) and this is part of the plans that will be submitted to the State. Faculty and staff will be trained to give lessons regularly to students. We will have signage and floor markers to promote proper hygiene, safety, and social distancing.

    How do you plan to enforce mask requirements, parent screenings, etc?

    We will educate and ask for help. We hope to set a community standard and understanding that wearing a mask and having screenings is best for everyone.

    How would situations like snack/lunchtime be managed when mask-wearing is not possible?

    Social distancing is key when students cannot wear masks. Cafeterias and lunchtimes will be set up in a way to allow for social distancing. 

    Lunch will be provided to students whether they are in school buildings or distance learning. We are still working on the cafeteria set up for in-school learning models and may need to be creative with building use. Ie. eating in cafeterias and/or classrooms.

    We will work with Principals to find out what will work best for their buildings.

    Are the students going to be required to have a negative COVID test before they attend?

    No, that is not currently part of the state requirements.

    Would KCSD consider outdoor classrooms to decrease the risks of COVID?

    This has been discussed and considered. Safety considerations, shelter outdoors, etc.

    Is there any availability to use local big event centers to provide more space for classrooms? These locations might be used and in need of funds.

    We have not looked at this as building codes are typically much different than school building codes. We thought about tutoring centers in the local community with larger spaces, currently not being used, if we go to a hybrid or all online learning format.

    Will the district be getting desks for classes that don't have them to help with the social distancing guidelines? Many Kindergarten classes have tables.

    We are currently assessing our inventory in every school building to know exactly what we have and how to maximize our space to allow for social distancing. We are required to ensure social distancing in our classrooms.

    Will teachers have teacher aides to help enforce protocols in the classroom?

    Teaching Assistants will be working to enforce protocols and assisting with instruction.

    If a teacher is out sick, will it be safe for the children/substitute to fill in for the teacher?

    A substitute teacher will go through the same screening process and temperature checks as a teacher would.

    What will the procedure be if a teacher thinks a student has symptoms of COVID-19?

    We will have procedures in place with our nurses but are awaiting guidance from the Ulster County Health Department for protocols. We are required to have an area in our buildings to isolate anyone showing symptoms.

    How will the district stop parents from sending their kids to school sick?

    This is very difficult. We are asking for cooperation from parents to check their student(s) before sending them to school. Are they feeling well? Do they have a temperature? If a student is not feeling well, we ask that parents keep their child home.

    How will students be graded/held accountable for their schoolwork?

    We will have a grading requirement for our students when school starts. The District is formulating a grading model that reflects how we grade before COVID-19. If we are teaching home-learners, we will work with our teachers to make sure our grading model is something they can manage as well.

    What measures, if any, will the schools be taking to help support the emotional/mental well-being of students, especially the younger ones, that may be anxious upon returning?

    A comprehensive social-emotional learning plan will be in place for our students. We will work with our Social Workers, School Psychologists, and Guidance Counselors to make sure we support all students, in or out of school buildings.

    Can you elaborate on staggered arrivals and departures?

    The goal is to keep large rushes of students from entering buildings all at once. Keeping buses from dropping off students at the same time will help with our goal and using different entrances throughout high-traffic times.

    Can you tell us whether there will be band, chorus and PE if kids return to school in the fall?

    Currently, band and chorus will not be scheduled at this time (as of the July 23 Town Hall meeting). PE will be modified for students in school buildings.

    Will special area teachers teach in a designated class coming to them or will the special area teacher be going to them?

    Given the guidance around keeping students in cohorts, the safest thing for us would be to push into classrooms to keep moving around buildings to a minimum.

    Are there any plans for a Kindergarten orientation to prepare incoming students and parents?

    Not currently (as of July 23rd Town Hall meeting). The District and Principals are working on plans for orientation, including orientation for older students who may be in different buildings when the school year starts.

    Will there be back-to-school nights or something like them in the Fall?

    Groups of people will not be brought into buildings. Alternative means of meeting teachers will be discussed among building administrators.

    Will the school construction be done by September?

    All schools will be open and functional by September. The construction may not be completed as some of our buildings are scheduled for ongoing projects.

    If a family opts for remote learning and later wishes to have their student return to in person class instruction; how will that be accommodated?

    We are currently preparing the buildings as if every K-6 student will be attending school so that we can handle this type of scenario. We are also planning as if every K-6 student who is eligible to have bus transportation would be riding the bus so we can accommodate any request of this nature and have the capacity to do so.

    How will related services be provided for K-6 and self-contained classrooms K-12?

    Those students will be attending in-person classes so our staff will be there to provide services.

    How will support services (reading, OT, PT, Speech) be provided to students? Will students receive these services virtually or will those teachers be required to go in and out of several different classrooms?

    If students are in school buildings, we would like teachers to push into classrooms to provide support services. We are trying to avoid small spaces in school buildings from being used and also limit movement around buildings as much as possible.

Remote/Distance Learning Questions

  • Please clarify if you will be ordering distance learning for students who have vulnerable household members who cannot risk in-person school.

    Students who cannot attend school will be at home participating in distance learning.

    Will attendance be required for virtual classes?

    Yes. This is also a requirement from the state. The District will track attendance and will be able to follow up with students who are not attending.

    Are high school students going to have to attend classes online at certain times or will it be asynchronous learning?

    We are still working on all of the scheduling details for home learning, but prefer to have a regular “bell” schedule as with a normal school day. However, some families may need a recording of their class if they are unable to attend at set times. We want to hear more from our teachers and parents as things move forward.

    How can we ensure that all students receive an equitable experience and equitable access to the internet during this unprecedented time?

    We are working hard to ensure everyone has a meaningful, daily interaction with their teachers, that students have the technology needed for online learning, and we are working with many organizations to try to increase our internet access whether it’s through district accessible hot spots or community/public hot spots or WiFi. We are also seeing what can be done with local cable companies.

    If students need to stay home, will all students be provided with Chromebooks?

    We are currently working up to the capacity around having a 1:1 ratio for every student to have a device (Chromebook). We do not currently have the capacity for every student to have a Chromebook. We have about half the capacity. We will provide Chromebooks to students in the most need first.

    How do you plan on having more personal connections with students and their counselors online?

    The District has to provide opportunities for students to meet with their counselors. Mental health is part of the District plan to return to school and one of our top priorities.

    What measures, if any, will the schools be taking to help support the emotional/mental well-being of students, especially the younger ones, that may be anxious upon returning?

    A comprehensive social-emotional learning plan will be in place for our students. We will work with our Social Workers, School Psychologists, and Guidance Counselors to make sure we support all students, in or out of school buildings.

    Will AP classes still be offered in KHS in the Fall?

    Yes.

    How will students be graded/held accountable for their school work?

    We will have a grading requirement for our students when school starts. The District is formulating a grading model that reflects how we grade before COVID-19. If we are teaching home-learners, we will work with our teachers to make sure our grading model is something they can manage as well.

    Will there be more consistency within the grade levels if school is remote this Fall?

    Yes. We are working to enhance our online learning model and fix the issues we experienced in the Spring. We will have the proper training in place for our teachers, students and parents to offer a consistent education plan and schedule for students to attend school remotely. We learned a lot in the Spring and are applying what we learned for the Fall.

    Are the high school students going to be taking the Regents?

    The State Education Department has not confirmed if Regents exams will be administered this school year (January or June). Our instruction/curriculum is still going to reflect state standards as it always has so students will be preparing to take those exams if they are scheduled.

    Will parents be able to opt-out of in-school learning and just do distance learning? If so, who will be responsible for the daily distance learning assignments and lessons?

    We do not yet know if students can opt-out of in-school learning. The District is responsible for delivering education to students with medical conditions that keep them from coming to school.

    NYSED guidance suggests that school districts are responsible for delivering education to all students whether they decide to go into a school building or not. The guidance also suggests that this guidance is only for students with pre-existing conditions or a disability that puts them at a higher risk so we are looking at how we can do that. We need to have a teacher for every student, whether they are home or in school buildings. Our focus is on equity in education and access for all.

    What opportunities will parents have to give input about how distance learning is done and how it is going for both the student and their family, both before it starts and throughout the school year?

    We will continue to solicit input from our community and teachers to find out what works and what doesn’t so we can fix any issues and adjust as the school year progresses. The District can survey parents and staff, and possibly host more town hall meetings as needed.

    Has the Board considered establishing a committee including parents and student ambassadors to provide input on how to improve remote learning?

    Yes. Once our plan has been submitted, we will start implementing more specific details. This is not easy to plan and we need input from the KCSD community.

    Will there be back-to-school nights or something like them in the Fall?

    Groups of people will not be brought into buildings. Alternative means of meeting teachers will be discussed among building administrators.

    What is the plan for family's who are choosing to stick with remote learning? If teacher resources are spread thin due to reduced class sizes, how can they also provide adequate instruction for remote learning students?

    We have to work with our teachers. We may need to recruit some of our substitute teachers to help and teachers unable to come to work may be assigned to teach students who are learning from home.

    If a family opts for remote learning and later wishes to have their student return to in person class instruction; how will that be accommodated?

    We are currently preparing the buildings as if every K-6 student will be attending school so that we can handle this type of scenario. We are also planning as if every K-6 student who is eligible to have bus transportation would be riding the bus so we can accommodate any request of this nature and have the capacity to do so.

    If all schools go back to virtual learning, what will Teaching Assistants be doing?

    Supporting teachers with instruction. Virtual instruction will be different than in the Spring. If all schools are on the virtual learning plan (remote learning), our expectation is that teachers will be teaching from their classrooms and Teaching Assistants will be supporting them with lessons.

    How will support services (reading, OT, PT, Speech) be provided to students? Will students receive these services virtually or will those teachers be required to go in and out of several different classrooms?

    If students are in school buildings, we would like teachers to push into classrooms to provide support services. We are trying to avoid small spaces in school buildings from being used and also limit movement around buildings as much as possible.

Health & Safety Questions

  • What plans do you have for addressing children with respiratory conditions (or similar health conditions) who will be wearing masks for extended periods of time if their condition does not allow them to do so safely?

    The Ulster County Department of Health will need to clarify – KCSD will meet with Ulster DOH to follow their protocols and lead in regards to students having a health condition like asthma and similar conditions

    If a student, teacher, or staff member gets COVID-19, what is the response plan? Will the classroom be shut down? The school? The district?

    The Ulster County DOH will be assisting KCSD with the answer to this question. We hope to have clarification on what our protocols will need to be.

    Is there going to be regular COVID-19 testing for teachers? Students? What is the plan if someone tests positive?

    The District is not responsible for testing, but we will be doing temperature checks and screening questions. The DOH will be giving us guidelines.

    What is the air circulation system at schools? What new steps are being taken to improve ventilation?

    Guidelines suggest an increase in outside airflow into our buildings.  We have invested a lot in our facilities over the last eight years. We have up-to-date/modern heating and ventilation systems in every KCSD building where we can control the fresh air that comes in and out of the building. We do have the capability of creating an air exchange that meets the guidelines.

    What will be the procedure if a teacher thinks a student has symptoms of COVID-19?

    We will have procedures in place with our nurses but are awaiting guidance from the Ulster County Health Department for protocols. We are required to have an area in our buildings to isolate anyone showing symptoms.

    What about PPE supplies?

    KCSD is responsible for making sure every school building is equipped with PPE – masks, sanitizer, thermometers, gloves, specific PPE for our nurses and teachers, etc. We are procuring as many supplies as we can before starting the year.

    Can you elaborate on staggered arrivals and departures?

    The goal is to keep large rushes of students from entering buildings all at once. Keeping buses from dropping off students at the same time will help with our goal and using different entrances throughout high-traffic times.

    Will the school construction be done by September?

    All schools will be open and functional by September. The construction may not be completed as some of our buildings are scheduled for ongoing projects.

    Will the school share contact tracing data with the CDC?

    The Department of Health would handle any contact tracing and data.

Transportation Questions

  • How will you keep kids safe on the bus? How will they sanitize?

    Requirements from the state are very clear about bus transportation. The number of students permitted on a bus, social distancing measures, mask requirements, and cleaning protocols. Buses will be cleaned/sanitized after every run.

    How will transportation work? I’ll have a 2nd grader & 3rd grader that are in a split household. Will there be staggered arrival and dismissal times to allow parents to be in 2 separate places at the appropriate times?

    Staggered arrival and dismissal times will be in place because of the fewer number of students allowed to ride a bus together due to social distancing measures. It’s possible we could have three different arrival times and three different dismissal times for bus transportation.

Teacher-Related Questions

  • Will you require that teachers who are at risk because of their age, have an underlying illness, or have a high-risk family member go back into the classroom if they don't feel comfortable?

    If we have a teacher with a medical condition or disability that makes them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19, or have a compromised immune system, we will not be forcing them to come back to work in the buildings, but we will be asking them to contribute in some way to be able to give our students what they need. This is going to be an “all-hands-on-deck” approach.

    Are school reopening plans being made with immediate involvement of the teacher's union?

    Yes. The superintendent and KTF President have met regularly and will continue to meet throughout the planning process. State guidance also permits districts to make adjustments to their plans as the school year progresses and the teacher’s union will help us “troubleshoot” anything we may need to change.

    All of the unions within KCSD are involved in our conversations and planning.

    What training will teachers be given for hybrid learning?

    We will use all of our resources to give teachers what they need to be successful no matter what model of schooling is selected to reopen. There are four Superintendent Conference Days that can be used to train and get faculty ready to start in September and can continue as needed throughout the year.

    How many teachers are retiring and or refusing to return if in-person teaching is chosen?

    We do not have that number. Retirements at the end of this year remained within the normal average we see each year and we have not yet heard of anyone retiring sooner than expected because of the virus. Many of our teachers are staying on and feel the responsibility to teach during this time and want to be a part of what our students need.

    Will special area teachers teach in a designated class coming to them or will the special area teacher be going to them?

    Given the guidance around keeping students in cohorts, the safest thing for us would be to push into classrooms to keep movement around buildings to a minimum.

    Will teachers have teacher aides to help enforce protocols in the classroom?

    Teaching Assistants will be working to enforce protocols and assisting with instruction.

    If all schools go back to virtual learning, what will Teaching Assistants be doing?

    Supporting teachers with instruction. Virtual instruction will be different than in the Spring. If all schools are on the virtual learning plan (remote learning), our expectation is that teachers will be teaching from their classrooms and Teaching Assistants will be supporting them with lessons.

Other Questions

  • Will special permission still be granted to children who have already been granted the previous school year?

    Yes.       

    When will final reopening plans be made public?

    We would like to have our plans posted on our website and communicated to our community before the deadline on Friday, July 31st. Governor Cuomo will make his decision between August 1-7.

    When are we to expect the information about alternative ways schools operating?

    KCSD will meet the schooling plan submission deadline date of July 31st, if not sooner. The District’s plans will be communicated and posted to our website as soon as they are submitted.

    Are we locked into the September plan for the entire school year? I am hopeful we are looking to get everybody in and back to normal as soon as safety, the CDC and/or Cuomo make it possible.

    This decision will come down from the Governor’s office based on the New York phasing plan and metrics given to school districts for reopening and staying open. Please note that this will have to be a fluid plan as the Governor could make changes at any time, before and after school starts.

    We are also not locked into the KCSD plan that we submit as we are allowed to make changes/expand our plan as the school year progresses. We will adjust our plans as needed to be successful.

    Will you be having more Q&A sessions as you learn more?

    Yes, we will be holding more Town Hall meetings regularly throughout the rest of the summer for updates. We want to hear from our community and answer questions whenever possible. Information regarding Town Hall meeting dates and times will be sent out to the KCSD community through emails, texts, KCSD app, our website, and Facebook page.

    How can existing after school programs help plan for reopening to serve students in the fall?

    This is something we will discuss more in August as we are focused on getting our remote and hybrid plans ready and in place first.  We will then be able to add the after school programs and supplemental things that we do once we have the school year in place.

    There are MANY hybrid possibilities. What are some that you are considering?

    We are looking at the maximum number of students we can bring into school in an organized and safe manner. What’s our capacity for online learning? How many Chromebooks do we need? What’s our student access ability from home? We are trying to keep it as simple and organized as possible to make it easy for everyone to understand and follow.

    If the Hybrid Model is used, will the district make sure that siblings are on the same in school/out of school schedule?

    Yes. This is one of the reasons we are trying to avoid a rotational schedule. We are looking to make sure if two siblings are going to school that we have them on the same schedule.

    Do you have an idea of how many people want to be in person Vs. all remote?

    Anecdotal information only at this time (7/21/20). A questionnaire will be sent out.

    How will stakeholder feedback be solicited and incorporated into the plan to reopen?

    Town Hall meetings will be held throughout the summer. A questionnaire has been sent and data is being compiled to assist us with our plans. Town Hall meetings will continue after our plans are submitted to the state.

    Is the information on school sports schedules for the Fall set or is that a recommendation?

    The schedule is set. Fall sports are currently scheduled to begin on September 21. We are supposed to hear more about athletics before September 21 to know if we can move forward with the season.

    Will in school/PTO events and field trips be canceled for the fall semester?

    Currently, yes. There will be a lot of changes in September and events and field trips are the things that will have to wait until we are given the approval to host.

    Will the start date for school be the same as other years?

    Currently, yes. We may need to update our calendar as the school year progresses in order to be flexible with the state of the coronavirus.

    What's the status of the dual-language education program? You had mentioned it might start for kindergartners at Chambers this year...

    The dual-language program is still under consideration and something we would like to have, but given the change in our circumstances for this school year, we are not yet certain if we can roll the program out in Kindergarten in September. We will continue to discuss and see if we can make it work.