2020-21 Schools Reopening FAQs
Please click on these links for more detailed information
FCUSD Roadmap to Reopening (pdf document)
FCUSD Facility Safety Measures (video)
UPDATE: Friday, October 23, 2020
Cameras in Secondary classrooms
Once the livestreaming is procured, how long will it take to be installed and teachers trained?
Installation and training time will vary. ETIS will map our installation schedules with the secondary sites. Every effort is being made to complete installation as soon as possible. Allowing teachers the maximum time to learn the equipment and plan for the Hybrid and Virtual environments.
Will this livestreaming take place in elementary?
No. Elementary Hybrid sessions are close to three hours long, with a single teacher. Such a lengthy time for livestream synchronous screen time would be undesirable for Elementary students.
Have we considered staggering the Middle School reopening times to coincide with the different grading periods? Are Middle Schools still opening on November 30?
Mills and Mitchell are on a semester schedule and will begin their second semester on January 4. Folsom Middle and Sutter are on trimester schedules. Their second trimester will begin on November 9. For more information please see the 2020-21 Instructional Calendar.
There is not a “one-size fits all” that will accommodate the two different grading periods for all four of our Middle Schools. Other factors to consider with Middle School reopening is the time for installation and teacher training of new, live stream technology, student needs for in-person or virtual instruction, guidance from SB98, and staffing considerations.
Reopening timelines for Middle Schools will be an agenda item at the upcoming Board meeting on November 5.
Who would monitor students in a classroom if the teacher is virtual?
FCUSD staff will be present to supervise students.
What is the timeline for livestreaming equipment to arrive?
The technology equipment needed to set up livestreaming is being procured now and is scheduled to begin to arrive on October 30.
What does it look like if a teacher is working remotely? -
Teachers currently have laptops which they are using to deliver instruction. They will continue to deliver instruction as they have for Distance Learning. The supervising staff in the classroom would utilize the classroom AV to display the teacher and instruction on the screen. While the technology for projection and sound will be improved for classroom application, livestreaming will be similar to video conferencing during Distance Learning.
Will students in class and students at home be able to hear each other?
Utilization of the current classroom AV students and the new camera/microphone/speaker equipment will allow students at home and in the classroom to interact.
How secure is the camera that will be used in class
The same securities in place now, to keep the videoconferencing channels secure will be in place for livestreaming in class. Teachers will be utilizing the technology tools that are best for teaching, demonstrating, or displaying information. The cameras are an instructional tool, and the teacher will decide how and when they are best used to deliver/enhance instruction.
What is the difference between the cameras teachers are currently using now for Distance Learning and the cameras that would be used in the classroom?
A laptop camera is not sufficient when attempting to display the teacher or other resources in the classroom. The new equipment offers more robust options, but the parameters of usage are the same.
Transportation, Schedules, and Sanitization...
What will bus schedules be like in Hybrid?
Safety protocols are being determined at each school site. While sites have unique situations, all sites will abide by consistent safety measures per public health guidelines.
Bus service will be available for students with special needs, PM Elementary sessions, and Secondary education. More information and details will be forthcoming.
Parents will need to apply for a bus pass at 2020-2021 Bus Pass Application.
Transportation guidelines for the 2020-2021 Hybrid model:
- All students will wear cloth face coverings.
- Windows and air vents on top of the bus will be opened to increase fresh airflow.
- Staggered seating - transportation will attempt to have a 6-foot distance between driver and passengers if possible.
- Maximum of 27 students on larger buses. Walking distances will be revised in order to accommodate fewer students.
- Hand sanitizer upon entry to the bus.
- Presence on the bus means parents have screened students and are not sending a sick child to school (see FCUSD Symptom Screening Checklist English or Spanish)
- Daily sanitization of high touch surfaces on buses.
Can Hybrid students transfer to being Virtual?
Yes, in fact, that is one of the advantages of having teachers livestream. Hybrid students who may need to stay home for a period of time, can still have access to their class, and then return to class when ready.
Sanitization and cleaning
Can teachers be in the classrooms while the custodial staff is sanitizing between cohorts?
Individuals can be present during sanitization. Because of the non-toxic disinfectant we use, it is safe for teachers to be in rooms while it is sanitized. Please continue to remember, that the less cluttered desks and surfaces are, the more effective sanitization will be.
How often do you recommend cleaning the bathrooms and high touch areas?
Restrooms are scheduled to be "cleaned" once a day (not counting "situational" cleanups). We are also setting a minimum goal that they are sanitized two times during the school day, in addition to cleaning. Cleaning involves wiping, scrubbing, mopping, filling dispensers, as well as sanitizing. Sanitizing is spraying disinfectant on all fixtures and touchpoints.
UPDATE: Friday, October 16, 2020
Board has approved a timeline for returning students to campus for Hybrid In-Person Instruction. The timeline is as follows:
- September 28:: One-on-one assessments
- October 19: Small cohorts for students with special needs
- November 9: Elementary Schools
- November 30: Middle Schools
- January 4: High Schools
VIRTUAL ACADEMY and DISTANCE LEARNING
What will the Virtual Academy look like?
An alternative education program in which students and teachers will conduct all learning in a virtual environment. This program will operate separately and independently from school sites and will be an additional, alternative educational option for students.
Students wishing to remain in the Distance Learning format, matched with teachers teaching in the Distance Learning format.
- Least disruption possible
- Keep students associated with Home School
- Remain on the same general schedule currently used in Distance Learning
Please note: Additions in RED are recent updates to the description of the Virtual Academy
How will I know if my student’s teacher will be in the Hybrid or Virtual Academy?
Staffing is currently being finalized and teacher status will be announced on October 21. On that same day, parents of elementary students will receive a follow-up survey, asking if they would like to choose the Hybrid model or Virtual Academy. The District will make every effort to keep a student with their current teacher.
If I begin in Hybrid but want to switch to the Virtual Academy, (or vice versa) will I be able to do that?
We want to be as flexible as possible without disrupting student learning. There may be parents who decide to keep their child in distance learning now but decide they want to transition their child to in-person instruction at a later time. We will make every attempt to make that happen as quickly and as smoothly as possible; however, due to staffing decisions and capacity at each
school site, we may not be able to accommodate every request.
Distance Learning: A temporary phase of remote instruction between students and teachers. Rostering of students to teachers is done at the school site and school of residence for the student.
Once we move to a Hybrid model, starting first with elementary schools, students and families who do not wish to return to school for in-person instruction will be offered to be placed in the Virtual Academy.
Will the Virtual Academy and Distance Learning follow the same bell schedule?
While schedules are still being developed and will be determined by data currently being gathered, all offerings will abide by all instructional minutes requirements as set forth by the CDE. More specific information will be forthcoming.
Does choosing Virtual Academy now mean that my child will lose their spot at their home school?
No, it does not mean that your child will lose their spot at their home school. With that said, there may be a situation where the combination of teachers and students choosing the virtual academy, limits the number of students and teachers on campus at any given time. This is unknown until all parents and teachers have made decisions.
Which teachers will be teaching in the Hybrid model, and which teachers will be teaching in the Virtual Academy?
Teachers are essential workers. We value and respect our Credentialed staff, their safety, and their comfort level for returning to the classroom. Once we know which teachers will be returning, we will be able to staff accordingly.
What will a day in the Virtual Academy look like? Will the schedule be synchronous in the morning and asynchronous in the afternoon like we have been operating in Distance Learning since the start of the school year?
The format for the Virtual Academy will look very similar to what students are experiencing in our current Distance Learning Formats. Teachers have flexibility in the amount of synchronous and asynchronous time in order to match the needs of their students.
If we choose either Hybrid or Virtual Academy now, can we change later in the school year?
Yes, we realize that this is a difficult decision, so there will be the ability, space allowing, to change your mind later in the school year. We are committed to working with our families and as we can make adjustments, we will. We also want to emphasize that the preferred transition periods for both students and staff are at the grading periods which allows for the least amount of disruption for students, teachers, and classmates.
The schedule is not as important to me as the relationship my student has with the teacher. Do I have the option to keep my student with their current teacher, whether the teacher moves to the Virtual Academy or Hybrid?
We too value the relationship between the teacher and student. The two main variables are the teacher choice and the student choice to return to campus or remain virtual. In addition to those choices, we also need to balance class limits and ensure the least disruption in course schedules, should those be affected. As you might imagine, a secondary schedule that could include up to seven classes is very different from an elementary model with one teacher. In elementary, if the teacher chooses to go to the virtual academy, every effort will be made to place their students, who make the same choice, with that teacher.
If my student is placed in the Virtual Academy, will they get to keep their same teacher?
Every effort will be made to keep students with their current teacher. However, dependent on staffing we may need to re-roster some students to other teachers.
What happens if my student is in the Hybrid model, and they or their teacher or entire class must isolate due to a COVID positive test? What will daily instruction look like?
While we hope this does not occur, the entire class would move into a Distance Learning format, as a cohort, until such time it is safe for the return to school.
How will classrooms be sanitized in between AM/PM cohorts?
Custodians are scheduled to sanitize all classrooms in between AM/PM cohorts, using Neutral Electrolyzed Water (NEW) solution and specialized sprayer equipment. To see what this looks like in action, please see this VIDEO
What counts as close contact?
It’s cold and flu season, how will students who are sick be evaluated?
Students exhibiting any symptoms of illness will be referred to the health office staff for screening.
What are the protocols if a student or staff tests positive for COVID-19
FCUSD will follow the isolation and quarantine procedures as provided by public health officials. If positive cases in the school community are identified, FCUSD contract tracing staff will work with Sacramento County Public Health nurses to identify contacts and determine the appropriate course of action, such as a 14-day quarantine, cohort closure, and notifications.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases among students, teachers, or staff may necessitate the closure of a cohort, multiple cohorts, or the entire school to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the school community. Decisions about closure will be made with consultation from Sacramento County Public Health, which is based on the number of cases and the percentage of the school population that tests positive for COVID-19. Generally, a single confirmed case of COVID-19 will necessitate the closure of a cohort. When multiple cohorts are affected or at least 5 percent of students, teachers, and staff test positive for COVID-19, full school closure may be warranted.
What happens if the county cases start to surge, and we are moved back into Tier 1?
As per the guidance from Sacramento County Public Health, schools are not required to close if infection rates rise. The District has worked hard to implement the necessary measures to bring students back safely and will continue to monitor the situation. We may consider increased surveillance testing if county COVID-19 rates rise.
What if students refuse to wear a mask, and are masks mandatory?
Masks are required for all on campus. If there is an issue with non-compliance, those students may be enrolled in the Virtual Academy, per California Department of Education (CDE) guidelines. For those who have a medical reason that prevents them from wearing a mask, we ask that you contact your principal or our Health Office to submit a medical note from your doctor that states the medical reason your student is unable to wear a mask
What about HVAC and filters, have they been installed? What other safety equipment has been provided?
All safety protocol measures are in place, including Merv 13 HVAC filters installed per FCEA MOU in all designated rooms designated for Student Care and Extended Day Learning Care for Students with Unique Needs. All classrooms and common spaces will be similarly prepared for students returning to campus in the Hybrid model, according to the reopening timeline.
Some quick facts and numbers:
- Each HVAC system takes 45-90 minutes to clean, inspect, and change the filters
- There are approximately 1,200 HVAC systems across the district
- That equates to 3,820 HVAC filters throughout the district
- Typical classrooms do NOT share air systems
- 540 gallons of bulk hand sanitizer
- 4,200+ PPE masks distributed to school sites
- 300+ gallons of Neutral Electrolyzed Water (NEW) solution made in September. *Estimated to increase 3x when in-person instruction begins
- 98 custodial staff
- 17 maintenance staff
For the Hybrid model, if a student doesn’t feel good (has a sore throat or maybe just a headache) and can not make it to the classroom, is the parent to call the student in sick, or can he/she participate in a distance learning model from home that day? Is a COVID test required? And how long does he/she need to stay home?
This would be considered an absence and the student can return to school once symptoms have improved or they are fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of medications. As with all absences, the coordination of catching up on missing instruction and assignments will be arranged between the teacher and the student. COVID tests are not required. If a student or staff member are exhibiting symptoms, we will encourage them to work with their primary care or Sacramento County Public Health for additional guidance
Will all desks be spaced six feet apart?
Yes. Not all classrooms will look alike, but all will accommodate student desks and learning stations to maintain six feet distancing.
What happens if a student gets sick in the classroom? Cold and flu symptoms are similar to COVID.
Students exhibiting any symptoms of illness will be referred to the health office staff for screening.
What is the maximum number of students allowed in a classroom?
The number of students varies from class to class and elementary to secondary. Furthermore, classroom size also varies across our schools. The number of students in the classroom will be determined according to the ability to maintain all safety precautions.
What screening tools will be used to symptom check students before coming on campus?
Parents will be asked to check for symptoms daily before sending their student to school.
What measures do staff take if they are not able to return to work due to increased concerns due to COVID-19?
Staff unable to return to work, due to increased risk is instructed to provide a note from their physician to Human Resources. Any COVID-19 concerns need to be directed to HR.
How have staff been trained and prepared?
Staff has all received training on safety measures, detailed in the Written Worksite Safety Plan (WWSP) in accordance with guidelines set forth by public health and CalOSHA. All school sites have a copy of the WWSP for viewing.
Where will staff and students eat lunch?
Each school site will have designated spaces for lunch and will take advantage of outdoor seating as much as possible. Students will remain with their cohort for lunch.
How will students safely pass each other coming on to campus, leaving campus or lining up?
Markers and directional signage are placed on campus, indicating one-way walking patterns and social distancing spacing. Additionally, staff has been trained on the Written Worksite Safety Plan that provides instructions for staff and students to safely move about the campus.
What are the rules for sending students to the restroom?
Students using the restroom will be instructed to maintain social distancing and wash their hands vigorously for 20 seconds before returning to class
HYBRID SCHEDULES AND INSTRUCTION: ELEMENTARY
Why are schools starting in the flu season? Why can’t elementary begin in January, after Winter Break?
We are very confident that our schools are going to be ready with all the health and safety precautions and retrofits necessary to welcome back our students safely on November 9. Furthermore, we are abiding by the guidance we received from SB98 that, as soon as possible, we would bring back students in a hybrid in-person learning environment with proper health and safety measures in place, following guidelines set forth by Sacramento County Public Health and the California Department Public Health.
To address concerns that we are entering the cold and flu season, one of the things you can proactively do is get a flu shot. This is an important step to take in protecting ourselves. In fact, FCUSD in partnership with Sacramento County Public Health is hosting a free flu clinic on November 3 at Cordova High School from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Many of the steps we are taking to make schools a safer place in light of COVID-19 are going to make schools a safer place during cold and flu season as well; washing hands, wearing masks, social distancing. All of these steps will make us safer from the influenza virus as well as COVID-19.
To learn more about COVID-19 health and safety from medical professionals, we encourage you to listen and watch a health forum we presented on Tuesday, October 15 for our staff. That evening four area physicians, Dr. Kasirye and Dr. Owen from SCPH along with two local physicians, Dr. Babb and Dr. Cafarella, provided information and answered questions.
This is a personal family decision to make which is why we are offering families two choices, the Virtual Academy and the Hybrid model. It is the District’s goal to minimize the disruption to students and staff as much as possible.
Is the survey binding? Are we locked into the decision we make now?
Survey answers will give District leaders the information we need to plan for staffing and operational functions of the many District departments that support student learning. Once we have programs and schedules in place, we will make every effort to accommodate parent requests for changes, as we would during a normal school year, and as space and availability allow.
Will recesses or breaks be allowed?
Cohort breaks will be allowed and carefully monitored, however large group traditional recess will not take place at this time.
What will Kindergarten look like? They are already AM/PM and teachers share a room.
Kindergarten cohorts will be divided into split groups to maintain small groups, social distancing.
Can PE and music still be asynchronistic?
We have been impressed by the PE and Music staff for their innovative and creative asynchronous lessons! This will continue to be a resource as students on the Hybrid schedule will still engage in asynchronous learning.
If families choose not to return to in-person learning, will their student keep their same teacher for the Virtual Academy?
Every attempt to keep consistency with students and teachers will be made. The results of the Elementary Parent Survey will guide us in our ability to maintain this consistency.
Will the District be clarifying the changes to what school looks like in the new normal so parents, teachers, students are informed before the return?
District leaders will be communicating with staff and families often. Our first step is to learn how many students will return to campus. Will this be 20%, 50%, 80% of the population? Once we determine how many of their students will be returning to in-person Hybrid learning or remaining in Distance Learning, we can arrange for staffing and operational needs, which will then determine details of the day-to-day campus experience.
SCHEDULES AND INSTRUCTION: SECONDARY
Will my student keep their same classes, such as honors, AP, and electives such as music, if they choose the Virtual Academy?
We are currently gathering data from teachers, staff, and families. Once we have more information, we will be able to address and answer more specifically. We are committed to the least amount of disruption to the student’s schedule as possible.
Why was the decision to reopen Middle School made for November 30?
With the opening date for the four Middle schools, we were looking at dates after the Elementary opening but also close to a natural grading period. Two of our Middle schools are on a trimester schedule, and two are on a semester schedule The two on trimester would be finishing their first grading period on Nov. 6th and the other two finish their grading period on Dec. 20th. A date in the middle of both grading periods was selected, also giving the Middle schools an opportunity to be back in a hybrid model before returning after winter break. Neither scenario is perfect, but allows for time to focus on the implementation of each grade level span of schools at different intervals.
EXPANDED LEARNING AND CARE (STUDENT CARE & ASES)
Will Expanded Care open full time on November 9th?
We do not yet have plans to open care to 6:00 pm. Staffing is limited with both work hours and staffing numbers. Extended care and learning (Student Care and ASES) will remain on the 7:30-3:30 schedule to support the care needs for hybrid am/pm return.
Will students in Expanded Care be kept with their same school cohort?
Learning cohorts may vary from Student Care cohorts. Not all students will participate in extended care. However, Student Care cohorts remain consistent and intact
Previous FAQ Updates: