Reopening Schools Frequently Asked Questions
On Monday, July 27, Workplace Coordinator Jeff Canady presented a school reopening plan to the LCSC School Board of Trustees. This plan was approved by the Board of Trustees and can be found here. After releasing the proposed plans, community members had many questions stemming from remote learning options to food services. Below, we've put together frequently asked questions and answered the questions based on where we are at now as a school corporation. We are asking our community to remember that this information is extremely fluid. Information changes on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. We anticipate multiple changes to our school reopening plans.
If you have questions or concerns, please direct them to the LCSC Administration Building by calling 574-722-2911.
Questions or concerns
Q: I have questions/concerns about school reopening, who should I contact?
A: If you have questions or concerns, it is important to share that information with us. We take parent and community input very seriously and work extremely hard to create plans that fit everyone's needs. The only way to ensure your questions or concerns are addressed is by contacting an LCSC School Board Member, Superintendent Michele Starkey (574-722-2911), or any building administrator directly through call or email. Social media pages are not monitored 24/7.
REMOTE LEARNING Information
Q: Will remote learning be an option for students for the 2020-2021 school year?
A: Yes! Remote learning is an option for any student enrolled at Logansport School Corporation. LCSC does not require approval for remote learning. We are giving all parents the option to enroll their student(s) in remote learning if they prefer. The deadline to select remote learning was at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 27th.
Q: If a student enrolls in remote learning, will this be a commitment for the entire school year?
A: No, it will be a 9-week commitment for elementary students and a semester commitment for grades 7 through 12. At the end of the commitment periods, parents may choose to continue remote learning or transition to in-person instruction.
Q: Will remote learning be similar to in-person instruction? Will it teach and challenge our students as in-person schooling would?
A: Remote learning instruction will be taught by LCSC teachers and will be structured differently than the remote learning at the end of the 19-20 school year. We have hired a Director of Digital Learning to help train, assist, and prepare our teachers to provide quality remote learning curriculums for students at every age level.
Q: What device will my child use for remote learning?
A: Students will use their school device for remote learning. We are a 1:1 school corporation, meaning all students have access to an electronic device for learning.
Q: Is there a possibility that LCSC will switch to full remote learning for all students?
A: At some time in the future, Governor Holcomb, along with the State Board of Health, may determine some or all schools be moved to remote learning. LCSC will continue to work with the Cass County Health Department to monitor local conditions.
Q: If a student participates in remote learning, will they still take corporation-wide assessments?
A: Yes. Corporation-wide assessments will be administered remotely if feasible.
Q: Are there specific teachers who are designated to only teach remote learning?
A: Yes. LCSC has appointed specific teachers to provide remote learning instruction.
Q: How will students video chat with their classrooms?
A: LCSC will use Google Meet.
Questions Related to COVID-19
Q: In the event a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, will everyone who was in contact with that person be required to quarantine for 14 days?
A: If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 our local health department will be notified immediately. The Cass County Health Department will give us guidance on how to move forward in the safest way. We will take direction from health professionals at our local health department and the Indiana Department of Health to create an action plan. Student and staff safety is our top priority.
Q: If I come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, will I be notified?
A: Our corporation follows FERPA requirements which provide confidentiality for our students. In the event a student or staff member comes into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, we will work with the Cass County Health Department and follow their contact tracing procedures.
Q: Temperature Guidance- is the level for a fever 100, 100.4, or 100.5?
A: CDC guidance sets the level at 100.4. If a school uses a lower threshold, that is fine. Logansport Schools will set the level at 100.
Q: Is it necessary to require daily temperature checks for all staff and students? Should bus drivers take temperatures as the first line of protection?
A: The Indiana Department of Health does not recommend having bus drivers or other school personnel performing daily temperature checks on everyone because it creates logjams in which healthy individuals could inadvertently be exposed and could contribute to other safety hazards. The Indiana Department of Health recommends home screening so that individuals are taking their temperature and checking for symptoms daily before leaving for school. Home screenings that include temperature checks and answering questions that screen for the symptoms of COVID-19 is supported by the CDC.
Q: Will students and staff self-screen? Will temperatures be taken every morning before school?
A: With guidance from our local and state health department, we have received information that states taking temperatures is not an effective way to screen for COVID-19. We ask that all students and staff take their temperature before arriving at school each morning. However, we will require all students and staff to take a screening questionnaire every morning. This questionnaire will ask about symptoms and recent travel. Questionnaires will be electronic for grades 3-12 and teachers will assist students in 2nd grade and below. By completing the questionnaire, our school nurses will be able to determine who needs to be seen and further evaluated. Every school building will have a separate COVID nurses station for students or staff displaying symptoms.
Q: Are COVID-19 tests required for students to return to school?
A: No, COVID-19 tests are not required.
Q: How will student absences be handled if they need to self-quarantine?
A: We plan to relax our attendance policy and all absences related to COVID-19 will be excused. We are considering taking away perfect attendance awards and other related programs to encourage students to stay home if they are displaying symptoms. If a student is required to self-quarantine, they will be able to continue learning remotely.
Q: How does LCSC plan to find an adequate amount of substitute teachers for the 20-21 school year?
A: Every year we struggle to find a sufficient amount of substitute teachers. We anticipate this year we will face more challenges surrounding that due to the circumstances. We work with Kelly Services to fill our substitute needs. Kelly Services will continue to make efforts to recruit subs. As we have in the previous years, if we lack substitute coverage for a classroom we will make necessary adjustments at the building level to ensure classes are covered.
Q: Will students still have recess?
A: Yes, students will have recess. Recess schedules will be adjusted as needed to reduce the number of students at recess at the same time. Outdoor equipment such as basketballs or footballs will not be permitted for use. During an indoor recess situation, students will be required to wear face coverings.
Q: What do teachers do with student maks during outdoor recess?
A: During recess, we understand it can be difficult for students to keep his/her mask clean and in their possession. One option for students is to purchase a neck gaiter style covering that can be pulled down when not in use. Another option is for teachers to assign a ziplock bag to each student and have the students put the mask in a bag prior to recess activities.
Q: Will fire/tornado/intruder drills take place like normal?
A: As of July 28, 2020, the legislator has not modified the rules for conducting emergency drills. Until they are modified, we are required to continue conducting the drills. Staff and students will wear face coverings during the drills.
Q: What changes will be made for student arrival and dismissal time?
A: Arrival: All students will report to their first-period class upon entering the buildings in the morning. Students who wish to eat breakfast will get a grab-and-go meal and eat the meal in their first-period class.
Dismissal: students will follow the planned traffic patterns in each building and wear face coverings while in the building and on the bus.
Q: Will students be allowed to share classroom materials? Will teachers be responsible to purchase extra sets of materials such as markers, books, and pencils?
A: In some of our classrooms, it is impossible to avoid students sharing material. Such as building trades or health classes. In situations where sharing material is unavoidable, we will ensure it is cleaned and sanitized before each use. If teachers feel they need an extra set of materials for their classrooms, they are encouraged to reach out to their building-level administrators.
Q: Will hand sanitizer be available in every classroom?
A: Yes, hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom. Hand sanitizer will also be placed throughout each school building.
Q: Are students allowed to carry backpacks?
A: Yes, students are allowed to carry backpacks.
Q: Outside of education, what resources are available for students who may experience grief, loss, anxiety, or depression?
A: Each building has at least one school counselor/social worker available to help our students. We understand school is much more than reading and writing. Social-emotional learning is a huge part of our student's wellbeing and our counselors are here to help.
Q: What time will students be allowed to enter the building in the morning?
A: Students will be allowed in the building at regular times. All students will report to their first-period class if they arrive prior to the school's start time.
Q: When will masks be required?
A: On Wednesday, July 22, Governor Holcomb announced mandatory mask-wearing for students grades 3 and up. Please read our Safe Schools Reopening Plan to learn more about mask-wearing on school campuses.
Q: Will the school be providing masks?
A: Schools will have disposable masks available on an as-needed basis. Students and staff can wear any type of face covering that they feel is most effective (i.e. cloth mask, disposable mask, face shield). We encourage parents to find two cloth face coverings for their student(s) to have while at school. Cloth masks are convenient as they can be washed and sanitized easily, whereas disposable masks can wear out quickly. Felix cloth masks will be available for purchase at our schools.
Q: There is an understanding of masks in hallways and/or during transitions, is it teacher discretion to use masks in the classroom? What if a teacher would like for masks to be worn at all times or most of the time in the classroom?
A: Per Governor Holcomb's executive order announced July 22, 2020, as of July 27, 2020 all students in grades 3 - 12 will be required to wear face coverings at all times while in a school building with the following exceptions:
- During times of strenuous exercise such as physical education class or participation in extracurricular sports.
- During meal times.
- Outdoor recesses shall be times when face coverings are optional.
- The student has a physician's release from wearing a face covering.
- A case conference committee has determined a child’s disability is such that the student is unable to wear a face covering.
Preschool through second-grade students will be required to wear face-covering on the bus, in the building when not in the classroom, and as otherwise directed by the teacher or school administration.
- The exceptions in number one above also apply to students in preschool through second grade.
Per Governor Holcomb's executive order announced July 22, 2020, as of July 27, 2020, all employees will be required to wear a face-covering while in a school building with the following exceptions:
Face coverings may be removed when a staff member is alone in a room and during meal times.
Q: Has the school corporation consulted with the teachers union about reopening plans?
A: Yes. The teachers union has been involved with school reopening plans.
Q: If I am required to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 will I have to use my sick leave? Will this be paid?
A: Please refer to the CARES Act for information about sick leave related to COVID-19.
Q: Will student backpacks still be kept on the hooks in classrooms?
A: In the elementary school's students' backpacks and belongings will be kept in the same areas as in previous years. Work with your building principal for specific procedures.
In grades 6 - 12 students will be allowed to carry their backpacks during the school day.
Q: Will extra support staff be hired to help with cleaning and lunchroom duties?
A: At this time, the corporation has adequate food service personnel to clean and perform lunchroom duties.
Q: Since classroom drinking fountains have been covered and shut off, how are students going to fill water bottles?
A: The classroom sinks will be turned on. The teacher will be responsible for filling the student's bottles. Students are not allowed to use a drinking fountain in classrooms.
Q: Will students be using paper and pencil or just computers?
A: It's recommended that students do as much work as possible on the computer. If papers are collected they need to be quarantined for 24 hours before the teacher handles them.
Q: How do I handle material sharing in my classroom?
A: Suggestions for sharing materials:
- Sharing materials among students would be done on a limited basis.
- If you are sharing materials, try to do so within a specific group or pod. Keep the materials with that group for the time the unit is being taught.
- Materials need to be disinfected before circulating them to the next group.
Physical Distancing, Safety, and Cleaning
Q: What physical distancing requirements will be put into place?
A: The following physical distancing requirements that will be put into place
- All students face one way in classrooms
- Students will report directly to their first-period classrooms upon entering the building (breakfast is available and is a grab and go style. Breakfast can be eaten in the classroom)
- All desks spaced apart in classrooms
- Hallway traffic will flow in one direction when possible or the stay to the right rule will be followed
- Assigned seating in classrooms
- Avoid or eliminate working in small groups
- Visitors limited in school buildings
- Spaced seating on school buses
- Designated nurses office for those displaying COVID-19 symptoms
- Scheduled medication pick up times to avoid overcrowding in the nurse's office
Q: What if my child requires medication?
A: If your child requires medication, please follow the medication dropoff procedure at your child's school. To find this information, contact the school your child will be attending.
Q: Will classroom supplies be provided by the school?
A: Yes. Our custodial team has ordered all necessary cleaning equipment, including foggers to spray cleaning chemicals easily.
Q: Who is responsible for sanitizing the buildings?
A: Our custodial team will sanitize buildings throughout the school day. Deep cleaned will take place every day. To ensure enough time for deep cleaning, school buildings will only be open 6:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Q: Are visitors allowed in the schools?
A: Visitors will be limited and required to wear a mask while in the buildings. We encourage parents to conduct business online or over the phone when possible. However, we understand that sometimes students forget items at home and parents need to bring them to the school. We will have a contactless dropoff system in place.
Q: Will parents be able to attend athletic events?
A: At this time, parents are not allowed at practices. However, our athletic directors are working closely with our administrative team, IHSAA, and local health officials to determine best practices for athletic events.
Q: Will parents be allowed to walk kindergarteners in one the first day of school?
A: At this time, visitors will be restricted in school buildings. We understand this is an exciting and emotional day for parents and students.
1. No microwaves will be available at the high school
2. Water fountains will be shut off. Free cups of water will be available at the serving lines for those who would like water with their meal.
3. A designated entry and exit will be established at each school cafe
4. Face coverings will be worn to and from the cafe. Students will remove masks once they are seated. Lunchroom seating will be spread out.
5. To avoid overcrowding at secondary schools, alternate serving areas will be used in addition to the cafeteria. Cafeterias will operate at 1/2 capacity.
6. Preschool and kindergarten students will be served in their classrooms to allow additional seating for grades 1-5.
7. A grab and go breakfast will be available for students. Breakfast can be eaten in the classroom.
8. Condiments at secondary schools will be individual packets distributed by the cafe staff. For elementary students, the cafe staff will distribute condiments from a squeeze bottle since packets can be difficult for elementary students to open.
9. Disposable trays and utensils will be used for all student meals
10. All self serve by students will be discontinued
11. Students will be required to wash their hands before coming to the cafe and will be required to use hand sanitizer before entering the serving line.
12. Students will not use PIN pads at the register. An alternate method will be used to avoid cross-contamination.
13. ALL cafe staff will be in appropriate PPE.
Q: How often will buses be cleaned?
A: Buses will be cleaned after each route.
Q: What procedures are in place to make buses safer in regards to COVID-19?
A: Students will fill the bus back to front when entering the bus. When exiting the bus, students will leave the front to back.
Q: Will masks be worn on the bus?
A: Yes. Masks are required. Bus Drivers and Bus Aides will be in appropriate PPE.
Q: Should I transport my student to and from school?
A: If you have the means to transport your student to and from school, that is a great option for the upcoming school year.