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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is there a plan to keep all my children scheduled to attend on the same days regardless of which school they attend?

A: It is the goal of the Pandemic Teams to keep siblings on the same days for family support, scheduling, and of course, child care. The intent of the teams is to provide older students the opportunity to drop off or pick up younger siblings at Charles Street School in our walking community.

Q: Do I need to choose the same method of learning for all of my children?

A: No, you may make the decision for each child in their best interest. (remote/hybrid)

Q: Is there an option for me to choose what cohort is preferred?

A: No, but every effort will be made to honor parent's special requests for cohort choice.

Q: Do I need a special reason to choose 100% remote learning?

A: No, it is unconditional per a recent state decision.

Q: I was curious about the remote option for reopening. Will the remote learners be in their own cohort or mixed in the same classes along with the in person cohorts? 

A: Remote learners will be mixed in an online cohort with in-person students so they can collaborate online.

Q: Are all building’s plans the same?

A: No, they are not, more in-person time is being allocated to younger students.

  • CSS 2 days (Monday/Thurs or Tues/Friday) in building OR 100% remote
  • Middle school 2 days (Monday/Thurs or Tues/Friday) in building OR 100% remote
  • High School alternating in-Person and remote with 1 day in the building
Q: What is the “modified” school day?

A: The daily instructional time is 4 hours for both models. (remote/hybrid)

Q: What time are you thinking HS would be dropped off? I have concerns about a late start time and getting my daughter to school while I’m at work. Just trying to plan, we are in Riverton. 

A: High school will likely start somewhere around 8:15 but we are finalizing times with the town and crossing guards.

Q: My child attends pre-school with Miss Stacy- when I chose hybrid model- it didn’t give me an option to choose which two days to choose. I wanted him to be on Mon/Thurs- Also- his school time 8:30-11:00AM class- will his class time be shortened too, since k-8 is only 8:30-12:00?

A: We will be fine tuning our schedule once the registration process is complete but it is our hope to have 8 hours of in-person instruction a week, 8:15 to 12:15. Our goal is to assist parents as much as reasonably possible with specific schedule requests.

Q: Will my child be able to contact the teacher with a question?

A: Yes, there is time scheduled each day for LIVE teacher contact. Teachers will provide further guidance for contacting them individually.

Q: Will the teachers be in the school from 8-3 like they were before COVID-19?

A: Based on the most current guidance received from the NJDOE, NJDOH, and CDC, all staff will be expected to be on-campus for the duration of the contracted work day unless otherwise directed by the Superintendent or his designee. Requests made by a staff member for a specific accommodation will be reviewed and action determined in accordance with applicable laws and board policies.

Q: Is there a fall season for sports?

A: The NJSIAA is working on that now, while simultaneously we are surveying our athletes and families to find out what their preferences would be for different options we may be offered for competition. Additional guidance on sports seasons is forthcoming.

Q: Will all students be required to wear a mask?

A: Yes, we are asking that students provide their own mask and bring an additional one for emergencies. All belongings, especially masks, should be labeled with student name/grade. A great suggestion has been a lanyard for the mask so that they do not lay it down somewhere.

Q: Will children have to wear the masks at their desks for the whole classroom time-it also said it can be adjusted by teacher, school, etc. will they wear them all day? 

A: Students will be required to wear their mask throughout the entire school day. We will give students opportunities to get some relief from mask wearing throughout the day, as long as it is safe to do so. It is important to start building “mask endurance” at home now in order to help alleviate the adjustment in September.

Q: Are temperatures being taken upon entry into the building?

A: Yes, along with staggered arrival times and assigned doors to help alleviate any entry lines.

Q: My child found it difficult to use our tablet in the spring, can we borrow equipment from the district?

A: Yes, we are reaching our goal of 1:1 Chromebooks for every student. It will be theirs alone to use daily, care for and not share with anyone else.

Q: I heard Superintendent McBride state that all students will be provided with a Chromebook. Will these be used solely at home? Do they have to carry them back & forth from home to school?

A: The plan is for students to bring Chromebooks to school with them (students will utilize online programming). Students will only be handling their own device and not sharing with other students.

Q: Will there be use of chrome books in the in person classrooms?

A: Yes, students in the upper elementary, middle, and secondary grades will use their assigned Chromebook during in-person instruction. More information will be provided from schools and teachers as we get closer to the start of the school year.

Q: Will computers be provided to families who choose the virtual schooling option?

A: The district will provide chrome books as part of our 1:1 initiative to all students enrolled.

Q: It looks like a plan for live and recorded learning, it sounds like this will not be the same as what occurred in the Spring. They will have a live teacher via zoom or skype for one portion and recordings for another portion, right? So, it will be more structured than the spring learning?

A: Yes, teachers and administrators are working collaboratively to develop a full wraparound approach to instruction that is inclusive of live and recorded instruction and that is supported with technology, print, and other resources. The use of Learning Management Systems (LMS) and the Google Suite will further assist teachers, students, and parents so that a regular routine with meaningful instruction is provided daily. Staff has received and continues to receive training as they adapt to a multi-method platform of instruction.

Q: If the in-person days are only for the "4 Core Classes", how is that determined, if a child has more than 1 of any? For example, doubled up on math and/or science? Is there any flexibility in that at all or are those 4 the only option available?

A: Based on what specific core courses the student requires, as well as what is available to support student learning objectives, we will make every effort to meet the student’s request(s). The limitations placed on the district as a result of the pandemic is creating limited face-to-face instructional opportunities. However, the district is looking at alternative offerings that may be live or asynchronous to assist students with their specific course requests.

Q: Will the students be logged onto the computer following what the teacher is teaching to the students in the classroom?

 A: There will be a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. The plan for remote learning will be dependent on the results of the parent survey and the performance of the bandwidth during classroom hours. Students will have some access to core teachers during the day but will not fully follow the in-person schedule as they will need to meet with their elective courses as well.

Q: Are the students having all Major subjects every day? Like Math, English, Social Studies and Science?

A: Yes, they will be having all major subjects: math, english, social studies and science every day. 

Q: What good does it do having the students go in 1 or 2 days a week?

 A: To provide for a safe and equitable learning opportunity for all of our students while complying with NJ Department of Education, NJ Department of Health, and CDC guidelines the most adaptable and practicable model for the Palmyra School District is to provide two (2) days of face-to-face instruction using a split-cohort model.

Q: Will the process of "awarding" 100s based on effort-only be stopped? That was a real slap in the face to students who had actually worked very hard for legitimate grades.

A: The grading policy specifics are still being finalized. While there will not be a pass/fail system, there may be accommodations to support student learning needs especially as they acclimate to the hybrid/remote learning schedules. 

Q: Are the students getting textbooks and workbooks?

A: Most of our textbooks and supporting materials are now available electronically, if print materials are needed or required for instruction each student must have their own copy (cannot share resources). Again, these practices are being put into place using NJDOE, NJDOH, and CDC guidelines for the safety of our students.

Q: How will drivers-ed be handled? Will that be accessible online as the regular curriculum will be?

A: We are currently working on how to provide Drivers’ Education to applicable students using remote learning and in-person testing when necessary. More details will be provided once the year begins and the plans are finalized.

Q: Our high school student is asking us if they would have an opportunity to double up in sciences as we plan to choose the remote option of learning for the 2020-2021 school year?

A: Once schedules determined, Principals can select on a case-by-case basis any exceptions to scheduling. Such modification is a typical practice. 

Q: For remote learning it states "virtual Instruction." Is that like zoom where the teacher and students can see each other, or more like the end of last year where the students received their assignments, videos and tests, etc. on-line?

 A: It will be a combination of all of the above. Teachers will be meeting daily per an established schedule with their students using an interactive platform AND will be assigning work through OnCourse Learning Management System (LMS) and Google Classroom like last year. 

Q: In regards to the remote schooling parts of the week, will the students have instructor lead virtual lessons, (with assigned class times, interactive capabilities, etc.) or, Will they be viewing a streamed class (as their classmates are receiving the in-person learning), or Will it just be independent study, (similar to how we ended school)?

A: It will be a blend of all 3 based on the availability of the teacher and student. Some lessons will be conducted live (synchronously) while others will be posted for flexible viewing and completion (asynchronously). Established schedules will be provided to students by their respective classroom teacher(s).

Q: My child has an IEP. If we decide to do the virtual school option how will they receive services?

A: Students who have an IEP or 504 will continue to receive all supports and services outlined in those documents. The child's case manager will serve as a primary contact for assisting parents and students with these services.

Q: If we decide to switch from virtual to in-person learning at some point, what does that look like?

A: Principals will review, on a case-by-case basis, parent requests to move a student from one model to the other due to need. However, balance between classroom capacity, social distancing, student need, and staffing must be considered in all decisions. We understand the complexity of the situation and principals will work closely with families to provide reasonable accommodation.

Q: If a family decides to do a cohort hybrid plan and somewhere in the future decides it isn't best for the family/child - can the child switch to fully virtual?

A: Principals will review, on a case-by-case basis, parent requests to move a student from one model to the other due to need. However, balance between classroom capacity, social distancing, student need, and staffing must be considered in all decisions. We understand the complexity of the situation and principals will work closely with families to provide reasonable accommodation.

Q: Is my response to the survey for the whole year or just for the first marking period? I am not sure how I feel about starting in person now but I would like them to attend at some point. My kindergartener especially.

A: Your selection is the default cohort for your student for the year, however, parents will be able to reconsider at the end of the first marking period. Principals will review, on a case-by-case basis, parent requests to move a student from one model to the other due to need. However, balance between classroom capacity, social distancing, student need, and staffing must be considered in all decisions. We understand the complexity of the situation and principals will work closely with families to provide reasonable accommodation. 

Q: Is there going to be an option for the teacher to remove their mask to teach letter sounds & reading?

A: We are exploring the use of masks that have a clear area, as well as the pre-recording of certain lessons so that the students can watch with the teacher and then practice. No doubt, there will need to be modifications to the existing practices given the impact of the pandemic.

Q: We had some difficulty following all the different methods of teaching in the spring, will there be any way to educate the parent?

A: Yes, our RESTART team will be working on a VIRTUAL Parent Development to cover remote learning directions, expectations and even tech support.

Q: If there are typically 20 kids in a class, does this mean there will be like 5 kids in one class at a time, or is it a higher number? What if more than the number allotted want to be in school.

A: Our goal is to maintain 25% room capacity with social distancing of 6ft between student desks. Each room has a specified capacity amount based on square footage. In mapping our classrooms, most can accommodate between 6-8 students when we consider 6ft social distancing and room capacity. The NJDOE allows for higher numbers if students wear masks; however, we are making it our goal to maintain the 25% with social distancing.

Q: What is the actual plan for if/when a student/teacher tests positive? Contact tracing was mentioned, would that mean you would have to wait for notification through an outside contact tracing program and NOT via the school?

 A: These policies are being developed in conjunction with the NJDOE, NJDOH, and in accordance with the updated CDC guidelines. Once we have received finalized feedback from those agencies, we will establish our version of that protocol and share it with the community. 

Q: What happens if a student or staff in the school gets COVID-19 – does that mean the entire school shuts down?

A: Protocols for managing a student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 will be in accordance with directives the district will receive from the Burlington County Health Department. 

Q: During the spring learning, my child shut down and became emotionally withdrawn, didn’t want to talk to friends, or even facetime them. Can you advise what support the guidance counselor will be able to provide and or resources? Can they do a zoom meeting if needed with my child? How has this resource been utilized since the pandemic began? What is the counselor's role during these tumultuous times?

A: School counselors (guidance, social worker, and school psychologists) receive specific training in the areas of social-emotional learning, crisis, trauma, etc. Our counselors are able to provide limited support in the educational setting. A parent should immediately consult their family physician if a child is experiencing significant and/or concerning emotional need. School counselors can be available in-person or remote assistance to students and parents as they had done this during the last part of the 2019/20 school year. School counselors may serve as a first-tier support for students with the ability to provide assistance to parents in securing higher-tier support for their child. During these difficult times, school counselors, nurses, teachers, and other school professionals can assist students and parents to a certain level before more extensive intervention is required from a clinician and/or physician.

Q: I have my daughter scheduled for hybrid, but question the need for lunch at Charles Street if they are only there for 4 hours. It seems like an unnecessary risk to move them to the cafeteria and have them eat and have small recess for a half day. Is there any thought to at least let older grades at Charles Street operate like the Middle School/High School?

A: Initial planning followed guidance received from the NJ Department of Education and the Burlington County Health Department. At this time further review of meal distribution is being evaluated based on room capacity guidance issued by Governor Murphy since the adoption of the District’s Restart Plan on July 29, 2020. Any changes to the posted and approved Plan of July 29, 2020 will be shared with the school community once determined.

Q: If a food insecure student opts for @home learning, will meals be available for pickup?

A: Yes, meals will be available for students. As we finalize the overall plans, a safe method of pickup will be communicated to families.