Q&A on Reopening School

Q: Are we still starting school Aug. 12?

A: Yes. As of today. We have been advised by the Allen County Health Department and Infectious Disease Dr. Wilfred Ellis that we should get students in school as soon as possible.  We do not know what the future holds. There could be another wave and we are closed later this fall.

Q: Will we close if Allen County gets a purple designation? 

A: We will only close if we are directed to by the State/Local Health Department and/or the Governor.

Q: Will students be required to have their temperatures taken?

A: The district has purchased thermometers and staff will be taking the temperature of every student as he or she enters the building. 

Q: What happens if a student has a temperature or is sick?

A: Students will be sent directly to the nurse’s office, where an isolation space has been set up. The nurse will determine the next step. 

Q: What is the plan to keep buildings cleaned throughout the day?

A: We have developed custodial plans for each building. The building will be cleaned multiple times throughout the day. Teachers will clean surfaces in their classrooms before any new group of students come in. Playground equipment will be cleaned after each group of students leave. 

Q: What is the mask policy for students?

A: Students in grades kindergarten through 12th must wear a mask or face covering at all times. Face shields are acceptable. Masks with holes are not acceptable. All students riding the bus must wear a mask. This is subject to change based on the Governor’s orders and the state-wide color alert system.

Q: Is the district providing masks for students?

A: Every student will receive two reusable cloth masks. Students can also bring their own mask or face covering. 

Q: Can students have any breaks from wearing the masks?

A: Five-minute mask breaks can be implemented by teachers. Students do not have to wear masks while outside for recess. 

Q: What if a student is unable to wear a mask for medical reasons?

A: The reason must be provided in writing from a health care provider and given to your teacher/principal. 

Q: Will students have to wear a mask during gym or recess?

A: No.

Q: What is the mask policy for staff?

A: All staff must wear a mask or face covering unless in an enclosed room alone.

Q: Are visitors permitted in the buildings?

A: Visitors are not permitted in the buildings, with the exception of parents, mail and other deliveries and student teachers and observers. All visitors over the age of 10 must wear a mask. All visitors, including parents, will complete a health check with temperature taken upon entry.

Q: What other protocols are being put in place to keep students and staff safe?

A: Hand sanitizers and hand sanitizing stations will be readily available throughout all buildings. Each school will have a number of portable tabletop shields to be used for things like conferences, student group work and one-on-one time with students. Restroom breaks will be spaced out and hallways organized for traffic flow to be one way or split down the middle. Locker breaks will either be scheduled or lockers will not be used (principals to decide). Students will not be permitted to share supplies. 

Q: How will lunches be handled?

A: Building principals will make decisions on how best to handle lunches. Each building will be different. Students will not eat lunch in their classrooms. We will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch for all students. You will be seeing more prepackaged food. Tables will be spread out and students will sit in assigned seats.

Q: Will drinking fountains be available? 

A: Water filling stations are being placed in every building. Students and staff are encouraged to carry water bottles and not use drinking fountains.

Q: Will students still use lockers?

A: This is being left up to the building principal. If lockers are used, there will be a schedule of when students can visit them. At this time, lockers will not be used at Lima Senior.  

Q: Will there be any outdoor classrooms/learning?

A: Teachers will be encouraged to take students outside when weather permits and it fits into the lesson. 

Q: What if someone tests positive for COVID-19 or is suspected to have been exposed?

A: Exposure and testing is not a district decision. The Allen County Health Department will contact you if they believe you or your child has been exposed. We will never disclose test results. The Health Department will only notify you when contact tracing occurs and they feel you need to quarantine or take a test. We will work with the Health Department if asked to assist in contact tracing and getting them contact information. Again, this information will be kept confidential. 

Q: Will students have to sit in certain seats in school and on the bus?

A: Yes. Seating charts in classrooms, buses and the cafeteria are imperative and mandatory. They must be kept up to date in case they are needed in the event that contact tracing occurs. 

Q: Are we using a prepackaged online curriculum?

A: No. Using Schoology, teachers will develop full lessons for online students. We encourage teachers to use videos, online chats and other resources to connect with students. All teachers will have an understanding of Schoology so we are prepared in case we are forced to go fully online in the future. 

Q: Can students still be in choir, band and orchestra if they are doing online school?

A: Yes, students will be able to come in for those classes. These teachers have researched and we have purchased supplies to help keep our students and staff safe during these types of classes. 

Q: Can students still be in the career tech program if they are doing online school?

A: Yes, students will be able to come in for those classes. More specifics will be coming from the high school. 

Q Can students still participate in sports if they are doing online school?

A: Yes, students can still participate in sports.

Q: Will Gifted Education still be offered?

A: Our Gifted program will continue for both in-school and online students.

Q: Will students be able to share school supplies?

A: No, students should not share any supplies with others. We will have extra supplies in the classroom in case there is a need. 

Q: What if students are not doing their online work?

A: School officials will contact parents. We will assess at the end of nine weeks and those students who are not doing the work will be asked to return to the classroom. We will be open to working with families during these first nine weeks if their circumstances change. 

Q: Are all students getting Chromebooks?

A: Every kindergarten through 12th-grade student will receive a Chromebook for the school year. Distribution of the Chromebooks and how they will be used will be decided at the building level. 

 

***Please remember things are very fluid right now and changes occur quickly. We will do our best to keep families up to date when changes come. We will share information on our website, social media, local news media and a new alert system. Please be sure the phone number and email we have on file are both current. 

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