School Board Q&A Regarding Returning Students to School

  • The School Board is currently reviewing options for returning students to in-person instruction and are submitting questions to Dr. Newman and his administration. Staff will review submitted questions daily and will post the questions and replies on this page.  Click here to download a copy of the Task Force Reopening SY 2020-2021 presentation, which was presented to the City of Manassas School Board on July 8, 2020.

  • In the "without additional technology" model, would the virtual learners need to transition into classes at the beginning of 2nd semester or is it possible in the middle of the 2nd semester. Would the school year need to be extended?

    Posted by Dave Lyon on 11/18/2020

    Answer: Transition for distance learning students in the hybrid model without additional technology can happen at any time. If transition is to another teacher within MCPS, we will work to ensure a smooth transition and communication between staff. For outside platforms, there will be challenges regardless of timing. They follow pacing different from our pacing for instruction. As students enter, their teachers work to transition students and ensure learning goals are met by years end. No school year extension is needed but those platforms may close out instruction at a date different from MCPS.

    Comments (-1)
  • How are the following topics being addressed: staff mental health, classroom cleaning impact on teacher planning time, and where students will eat lunch?

    Posted by Dave Lyon on 10/26/2020

    Answer: Teacher planning time should not be impacted. We plan to feed as many students as possible in the cafeteria. Under the hybrid plan (50%) we believe that we will have enough space to feed all students in the cafeteria and still be in compliance with social distancing guidelines. Classroon cleaning will have no effect on a teacher's planning period.

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  • Are there specific procedures for classrooms if a student in the class has a positive test? What are the quarantine protocols?

    Posted by Dave Lyon on 10/26/2020

    Answer: Response to reports of positive tests are followed up on individually. Response is based upon the circumstances that are unique to each report.

    The response protocol that is in place is:

    • Each school has a Point of Contact (POC) for purposes of receiving reports and doing follow-up.
    • For schools - the school nurse with a principal’s designee for backup. The POC may contact the reporter for additional information/confirmation. The school nurse will notify the following:
      • Administrator/Principal,
      • Building level Custodial Services, if appropriate, and
      • Supervisor of Nursing.

    The Supervisor of Nursing will (not necessarily in this order):

    • Notify Human Resources
      • When staff quarantined
    • Contact the Prince William Health District for additional guidance and/or reporting as indicated. 
    • Provide updates and additional action steps to administrator(s), supervisor(s) and/or the school nurse, as directed or advised by the PWHD.
    • Notify members of the Executive Cabinet, as appropriate, for decision-making related to possible next steps such as:
      • Additional cleaning
      • Possible closure
      • Communication Needs – Parent/Staff Information, Community Notifications, etc.
    Comments (-1)
  • Who will be responsible for cleaning classrooms during the school day and at the end of the school day?

    Posted by Dave Lyon on 10/26/2020

    Answer: MCPS custodians have been provided with the appropriate cleaning devices and supplies to complete this task in a timely manner. MCPS will continue to review and revise this approach as needed and in accordance with the CDC guidance.

    Comments (-1)
  • When hybrid instruction begins, especially at the middle and high school levels, is there a chance that student schedules will be changed to balance numbers?

    Posted by Dave Lyon on 10/26/2020

    Answer: Our goal is to minimize any schedule changes for students, however it may be necessary to meet mitigation strategies.

    Comments (-1)
  • When phasing in of in-person instruction, beyond school dependent learners, what will be the impact on weekly meal distribution?

    Posted by Dave Lyon on 10/26/2020

    Answer: Food Services will continue to provide Monday drive up service of meals. Students who are in person with be provided with breakfast and lunch on the days that they are in school.

    Comments (-1)
  • In classrooms for school dependent learners, will clear dividers be provided to act as a barrier between students who cannot wear masks and staff?

    Posted by Dave Lyon on 10/26/2020

    Answer: All necessary PPE will be provided to our schools as needed to insure conformance with CDC Guidelines.

    Comments (-1)
  • Will teachers be required to provide in-person instruction and virtual instruction simultaneously?

    Posted by Dave Lyon on 10/26/2020

    Answer: We are working towards securing the technology to provide concurrent teaching; regardless of where the student is located he/she will receive the same lesson at the same time. Teachers will need to address both in-person and virtual students at the same time.

    Comments (-1)
  • When school dependent learners return, who exactly will be providing instruction? Specifically encore classes?

    Posted by Dave Lyon on 10/26/2020

    Answer: Based on the staff survey data provided on October 2nd the majority of the 74 students who indicated they would return for in-person learning will be instructed by their assigned special education teacher. There are two schools with some staff indicating they have exclusionary factors which prohibit them from returning at this time. Dependent learners at these two schools have been reassigned and will be instructed by teachers with the appropriate endorsements.

    Students who plan to continue virtual learning (39) will be served by special educators who are unable to return for in person instruction. In these cases some students will have their virtual instruction delivered from a teacher assigned to another building. The teacher would be appropriately endorsed. In this model all staff members are accommodated based on their need. No staff member would need to take FMLA of Family First as they would deliver either in person instruction or virtual instruction.

    * If staff members change the choice that was indicated in the survey data from October 2 the viability of in-person instruction would be jeopardized. New students continue to enroll from other divisions and students continue to be found eligible.

    These 112 students make up less than 2% of our school population. 98% of the student body would continue with virtual instruction. Our students would participate in encore/elective/inclusion classes virtually which is the same as they are doing now. In this model the students virtual time would be supported by a staff member at the assigned school.

    Comments (-1)
  • What will the policies be concerning mask wearing? Will a doctor's note be required? Students or staff who refuse to wear a mask?

    Posted by Dave Lyon on 10/26/2020

    Answer: Personnel Regulation GH-R-1 (Employee Health Covid-19) All students and staff will be expected to wear masks at all times unless they have a documented medical condition that prohibits use. MCPS has ordered 40,000 cloth masks (25,000 child size and 15,000 adult size masks) from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). We plan to distribute 3 masks per student so that proper cleanliness can be maintained througout each week. All MCPS schools been issued position appropriate PPE in accordance with CDC Guidelines. The PPE will be distributed to staff upon their arrival. Students who do not have a documented medical reason and refuse to wear a mask while at school will be transistioned back to the 100% virtual environment.

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