Posted Date: 08/05/2020
July 23, 2020
Genoa Central Students, Parents/Guardians, Teachers, and Staff,
Genoa Central Schools is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment for all of our students. We understand parents have many questions regarding the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. This correspondence is to provide you with as much information as we can at this time to help alleviate some of your concerns.
Genoa Central Schools will follow the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) guidelines and the “Arkansas Ready for Learning” plan issued by the Arkansas Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for reopening in the fall. We have also established multiple working committees comprised of administrators, staff, teachers, students, parents, and community leaders to help develop reopening plans based on guidance from public health officials and state agencies.
The new official start date for the 2020-2021 school year for Genoa Central Schools is Monday, August 24th.
Genoa Central Schools will provide a completely K-12 digital learning option for interested students. For specific information and details on how to apply, please email or contact your child’s building principal. The deadline to apply is August 3, 2020.
Even though classes may look different this fall, please know Genoa Central Schools is working to create the safest educational environment possible. We will continue to work with the ADH and DESE to ensure the district is “Ready for Learning.”
Later this summer, as state directives for the fall become clearer and our plans are further developed, we will share more information with our Dragon families. In the meantime, this document will continue to be updated with the latest information and can be found on our district website: Roadmap to Reopening.
While we continue to work through the details, we hope the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section below will address some of your concerns. If you have any questions that are not answered here, please feel free to email: email@example.com.
Again, thank you for your continued patience and support as we work together to navigate this new educational roadmap.
Genoa Central Public Schools FAQ’s Regarding COVID-19 Guidelines For 2020-2021
**UPDATED - JULY 23, 2020**
1. When is the first day of school for students? - UPDATED!
The new official start date for the 2020-2021 school year for Genoa Central Schools is Monday, August 24th. You'll recall, Governor Hutchinson directed schools to move the first day of school from August 13th to the week of August 24th.
2. Can you guarantee students and staff will not become ill?
No. While the well-being of our students, staff, and families is of utmost importance, we cannot guarantee no one will get sick. Every risk cannot be mitigated, but we will do all we can to ensure everyone’s safety. Per board approval of our Ready to Learn plan, teacher hours will change to 7:30 to 3:30 to help assist with temperature checks for staff and students.
3. What are the requirements for face coverings? - UPDATED!
After Governor Asa Hutchinson issued an executive order mandating face coverings statewide, Genoa Central schools are requiring face coverings for students and staff K-12.
4. Will face coverings be provided for students?
The district will provide 3 cloth face coverings for every student and staff member. You are able to bring your own face covering.
5. Will bus transportation be provided?
Yes, the district will provide bus transportation for students. If there are any changes to bus schedules, stops, or routes, information will be communicated to parents.
6. Will students have to wear face coverings on the bus? - UPDATED!
All students (K-12) shall be required to wear a face covering when riding in school-provided transportation.
7. What will the school day look like for my child?
Administrators are working diligently to create schedules that include minimizing close physical interactions. Our goal is to maintain as normal of a day as possible while mitigating risk.
8. How will students socially distance in the classroom?
Classrooms will be arranged to maximize spacing between students and teachers to the extent possible. We will make every effort to conform to social distancing guidelines.
9. Where will my student eat lunch?
Based on current ADH guidelines regarding limited capacities in cafeterias, we are working on adjusting lunch schedules and possibly using alternative areas if necessary. Other measures will include proper sanitation of all areas after every meal service.
10. Will my student still be able to have recess or play on the playground?
Yes, students will have outdoor play time.
11. Will students still have extra classes like P.E., art, music, and library?
Yes, students will still have the opportunity to participate in activity classes.
12. Will students be able to attend field trips?
We anticipate field trips in the fall will be limited. We will follow ADH and DESE guidance.
13. Will water fountains be available?
Students are encouraged to bring filled water bottles as water fountains will not be available. Hydration stations will be available for students to fill their water bottles if needed.
14. Will Genoa have Pre-K for the upcoming school year? - UPDATED!
Yes. The first day of school for Pre-K students will also begin on Monday, August 24th.
15. Will extracurricular activities and sports be offered in the fall?
Yes. Many student athletes have currently returned to campus to begin practice based on ADH and Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) guidance. We anticipate there will be sports activities in the fall with possible modifications required by ADH and AAA.
16. Will there be any restrictions on band and/or choir?
We are still waiting on guidance from ADH.
17. What precautions will be taken for cleaning and sanitizing?
Disinfecting, sanitation, and cleanliness continue to be a high priority on all our campuses. Extra attention will be given on high touch surface areas. Restrooms will also be continuously cleaned throughout the day. Students will be expected to wash or sanitize their hands throughout the day.
18. Will students and adults be screened daily?
Yes. Students and staff will be checked each morning.
19. What happens if a student comes to school sick?
The student will be screened by the school nurse. If the student has a temperature over the ADH guidance, they will be sent home and will need to be fever free for 48 hours without medication before returning to school. The student will be required to check in again with the school nurse upon returning to school.
20. What happens if an individual tests positive for COVID-19? - UPDATED!
The district will be in close contact with ADH directly and follow ADH’s guidance. The state has also released the "Response Levels For On-Site Learning" guide for districts to follow.
21. Can I visit the school, classroom, or eat lunch with my student?
Under current ADH guidance, visitors will not be allowed in the school except for the reception area. Parents will not be allowed to eat with their child. Visits to the school will be limited to essential activity.
22. Can I walk my child into the school?
No, parents and guardians may not walk them into the school, but they may walk their student to the school entrance.
23. What about students who have special needs or students with compromised immune systems and pre-existing conditions?
The district will be prepared to accommodate students with special needs through both onsite and remote instruction. Our Special Education instructors will be taking extra precautions when working with students. If parents have concerns about their students who may be at high-risk for COVID-19, they may be interested in exploring our digital option which allows the students to continue their education from the safety of their home.
24. How will you help fill any gaps in learning for my student from the previous year?
Each campus is working to address any missed essential standards and skills when students return.
25. What happens if schools are mandated to close again?
This is where “blended learning” for traditional students comes in. With blended learning, students will learn content through in-classroom instruction with their teachers as well as through Google Classroom. Students will learn how to use these digital learning systems by participating in lessons throughout the week while at school. In the event of a school closure, or if a student becomes ill, students will be able to easily pivot or transition to online learning at home. Blended learning will become part of our new normal.
26. Can I change my decision about digital learning?
Please know that we will have systems in place to support students in their respective learning environments and intervene as best as possible. If it is in the student’s best academic interest to move from one environment to another, then we will work to ensure they are in the best situation.
27. I understand that I will not be able to walk my child into school and only to the front entrance. Will there be someone who can help them get to their classroom, especially on the first day?
Our principals know they will need to be prepared for these situations. While at this point we are not able to allow large groups of parents in the school, we understand this is an important part of the first day of school and we will work on a way to make it as positive as possible. Once we have a plan we will share with parents. We want to assure you that we will take care of your kids.
28. Will there be an open house, will we be able to meet the teacher, or see the classroom?
We are working on a Virtual Meet the Teacher.
29. When and how will students be receiving their schedules and learning where classrooms are located?
We are working on a plan to provide schedules.
30. Will kids be allowed to play together or have to stay 6 feet apart?
We will do our best to encourage the six foot rule for kids, but we all realize that we must be reasonable in how we work through those types of issues. We want school to be a safe and caring place and have to be careful about making it too “institutionalized.”
31. Will attendance still be taken regardless of in-class or virtual instruction?
Yes, attendance will be required and taken regardless of the learning environment.
32. If I have multiple students in the district, can I choose different learning options for each one?
Yes. For example, if you have two students and one would like to do the traditional in-classroom learning option and the other would like to go on virtual learning this is definitely an option for families.
33. If my child goes to school and there is a case in her class or at her school what will happen? Will the parents be notified?
The district will follow the guidelines provided in the Response Levels for On-Site Learning document. Please notice the flow chart on page 6 for notifications. Page 7 defines "close contacts."
34. Can students/staff wear face coverings they purchase/make themselves or can they only wear the ones provided by the district?
Students and staff will be allowed to wear face coverings that they purchase or make. As of now they need to follow the same guidelines for clothing as outlined in the student handbook: "Clothing and accessories not allowed include, but are not limited to, the following: Clothing that displays obscenities, promotes violence, including pictures of guns or other weapons, has sexual implication/content or has reference to alcoholic beverages, tobacco or illegal substances;" The face covering material or depictions should not be a disruption to the learning environment.
35. Will virtual learning start the same day as when traditional school begins?
Virtual learning will begin the same day as on campus instruction.
36. Will we be allowed to send disinfect wipes and hand sanitizer with our children to use throughout the day?
Yes. You are welcome to send hand sanitizer and wipes with your child to school.