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CCSD Reopening of School FAQs 2020-21

Last Updated: 8/1/2020 8:52 PM

This information is based on the Superintendent's recommended CCSD Reopening of School Plan, which is posted at https://bit.ly/CCSDplan20.  The plan was approved the School Board July 9, 2020.  Looking for the Digital Learning Commitment Form?  It is posted at https://bit.ly/CCSDdlcommit20  New Department of Public Health guidelines for schools were announced July 10 and can be found here.

 

Please review our list of Frequently Asked Questions developed in preparation for the reopening of CCSD schools on Aug. 3, 2020.  This list was initially published on July 8, 2020 and will be continuously updated as needed; any updates will be noted by date.

 

PART ONE:  Traditional In-Person Model Protocols

 

Section I:  Making a Decision and Getting Started

What if I start Traditional In-Person learning for my child and change my mind before the commitment period ends?

You are asked to make a commitment – the first nine weeks for elementary school (Aug. 3, 2020 through Oct. 9, 2020) and the first semester for middle and high school (Aug. 3, 2020 through Dec. 18, 2020) – to ensure we can provide the best learning environment possible.  All students are eligible for Traditional In-Person learning, and the usual full schedule of courses will be available.  We cannot accommodate students interested in Digital Learning after the July 17 commitment date; the only exception to this is if his or her school closes due to COVID-19 and, in those instances, all students – preschool through 12th grade – will participate in Digital Learning for a specific period of time.  If a student begins Digital Learning and requests to return to Traditional In-Person learning, he or she will be added to a homeroom and to individual classes where seats are available; students will not be guaranteed a seat in the classes of their choice.

NEW 7/13/20 This plan only talks about the first nine weeks for elementary school and the first semester for middle and high school.  What will happen after then?

This plan is intentionally called the CCSD Reopening of School Plan, as it was designed to address how we will reopen school.  While the continuation of our plans for Digital Learning are dependent upon public health conditions in the area, we believe it is likely that that platform for instruction will continue longer than just the nine weeks/first semester plan currently planned.  We will keep parents informed of any continuation or termination of this instructional platform at the appropriate time.

UPDATED 7/13/20 Will my child’s school hold a meet-and-greet, walk-through or orientation event before the first day of school?

In-person events will be limited to PreK, Kindergarten, Grade 6 and Grade 9 students (and their parent(s)/guardian(s)), and for individual students (and their parent(s)/guardian(s), in any grade who are new to their school.  Schedules will be set to limit the number of visitors to buildings at the same time.  You will receive specific information from your child’s Principal.  We encourage and recommend that everyone attending these events do their best to distance themselves from others by at least six feet and bring a mask to wear when social distancing is not possible.  For all other students, students and/or parents will receive back-to-school emails from teachers and Principals.

NEW 7/13/20 I am choosing to withdraw my children to home school.  If I later enroll them back in CCSD, will this affect what classes they are in?

Maybe.  Upon re-enrollment, the school will contact you to review what your child studied at home to determine their proper class placement, which has been our standard practice when evaluating home school students entering CCSD.  It will be a similar process as to when our schools evaluate the transcript of a child moving to CCSD from another public school district or from a private school. 

NEW 7/14/2020  Can a student choose Traditional In-Person for most of their schedule and take two classes through GAVS?

Yes, for high school students only.  If a student is not declaring they are full virtual they can attend face-to-face at their high school and still take a few GAVS classes.  This has been a common CCSD practice in the past.  Students in this case will want to contact their high school counselor.

 

Section II:  Use of Face Masks/Shields

Will my child be required to wear a mask?  Will masks be provided?

We encourage and recommend that students wear masks whenever social distancing is not possible in our schools and on our school buses, but, at this time, masks will not be required for our students.  We will provide each student with up to two reusable masks upon request and at no charge on the first day of school.  If the Federal or State government mandates masks be worn, then we must follow that mandate and require all students wear masks.

Will teachers and staff be required to wear masks?

We will require that our teachers and staff wear masks whenever social distancing is not possible.  We will provide each employee with up to two reusable masks upon request upon return to work.  Clear face shields also will be available to employees, upon request, to assist them during class instruction.

Will efforts be made to prevent students from bullying or mask-shaming those who choose to wear – or not wear - a mask?

Yes – our student code of conduct does not permit bullying of any kind.  We take all allegations of bullying seriously, and students found to be bullying others will face disciplinary consequences.

NEW 7/13/20 If a decision is made after July 17 that masks are mandated for all students and I don’t want my child to wear a mask, can I enroll my child in Digital Learning?

No – July 17 is the deadline to enroll in Digital Learning.  If a decision is made to mandate masks at any point after July 17 and you don’t want your child to wear a mask, you will have the option to withdraw your child to home school your child on your own.  While we cannot speak to what a mask mandate would look like, as we have not implemented one nor has the state or federal government, based on the mandates issued elsewhere, we anticipate there would be exemptions for students with medical diagnoses.     

NEW 7/13/20 Are there any restrictions on what kind of mask my child may wear at school?

Yes – masks and face coverings must not violate our dress code, which encompasses all articles of clothing; specifically, the patterns, words and images printed on masks must not violate these rules.

NEW 7/13/20 May my children use a lanyard from home to wear around their neck and connect to their mask to reduce the likelihood it will be lost?

Yes - you will need to make this purchase yourself, as CCSD will not provide lanyards to students.

NEW 7/13/20 May my child wear a plastic face shield to school?

Yes – you will need to make this purchase yourself, as CCSD will not provide plastic face shields to students.

NEW 7/13/20 I am concerned about some teacher’s comments that I have seen on social media.  Some seem afraid to return to work.  I am worried they will not treat my child fairly or that they will try to make my child wear a mask.  What can I do?

We apologize, as a school district, if a teacher has argued with you on social media or made you otherwise not have confidence in their ability to effectively teach your child.  All teachers are expected to follow our social media guidelines for employees, which make clear this should not occur online.  We have not mandated masks for students at this time; as a result, teachers will not make your child wear one.  We have confidence that our teachers who return to work in the classroom will follow their professional code of ethics and our school district policies and protocols and serve our students to the best of their abilities.

 

Section III:  Temperature Checks and Hygiene Requirements

Will you take temperatures upon arrival of students or teachers and staff? Or before they get on the bus?

We will not — we are requesting all families and employees do a temperature check daily prior to arriving at school.  We will distribute information to all teachers and other staff who work directly with students to assist in identifying students who should be sent to the nurse’s clinic for evaluation.  The nurse then will take a student’s temperature; as is our standard practice: if a student has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, his or her parents will be contacted to immediately pick them up.  Students must not come to school if they have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher.   

What other symptoms should we be checking before we send our children to school?

Students must not come to school if they have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher.  If a student has a positive or pending test for COVID-19, they must not come to school.  If a student is living with and/or in regular close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, they must not come to school until that person is well and the quarantine period ends.  If a student has traveled to a COVID-19 advisory area (as designated by the CDC and posted on its website) within the past 14 days, they must not come to school until that quarantine period ends.  If a student has a cough, shortness of breath or recent changes in taste and/or smell, we recommend you contact your doctor’s office for guidance before sending your child to school. 

How will you help/encourage my child practice good hygiene?

All classrooms have been provided with a sanitizer spray that is safe for use on hands to ensure a reliable, safe supply; although donations always are appreciated, parents do not need to send in hand sanitizer.  We will distribute information to all teachers and other staff who work directly with students to assist them in ensuring students follow best practices to avoid the spread of COVID-19.  This includes allowing students time to wash their hands frequently, especially before eating.  This includes encouraging children to use provided hand sanitizer and cover their mouth with a tissue or arm when coughing or sneezing. 

NEW 7/13/20 Will you be ensuring all sinks have hot water for hand washing?

No – hot water is not needed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for effective hand washing.  Water at any temperature is effective.  What is required in order to effectively wash your hands is water at any temperature, soap, and spending at least 20 seconds thoroughly lathering your hands before rinsing them.

NEW 7/13/20 May my child wear plastic gloves to school?

Yes – you will need to make this purchase yourself, as CCSD will not provide plastic gloves to students.

NEW 7/13/20 Will my child have to handle cash at school?

Your child only will have to handle cash if you send it to school with him or her.  We encourage all parents to use our online payment options for school meals and other purchases.

 

Section IV:  School Cleaning Provisions

What extra steps will you take to keep schools clean?

Our custodial provider, ABM, increased its disinfection procedures in the days prior to our closures in March, and deep cleaned all schools during the closure.  When our schools reopen, ABM will continue to keep staffing levels higher than usual and focus on frequent disinfection of high-touch areas.  This cleaning will include frequent daytime wipe-downs of high-touch surfaces and nightly wipe-downs of student desktops.  Hospital-grade, EPA-registered disinfectants and electrostatic sprayers will be used; certified disinfectant specialists will be employed at each school.  We also are providing every classroom with surface disinfectant spray; although donations always are appreciated, parents do not need to send in surface cleaning wipes.  

Will outside groups like churches or events like family reunions be permitted to use CCSD schools?

Yes.  While our campuses are currently closed and unavailable for outside usage, we will reinstitute our Facility Use application process once our facilities reopen under governmental order.  Our custodial provider, ABM, will appropriately clean and disinfect buildings after this usage.

NEW 7/13/20 What kind of cleaning supplies will be used in school?

Our custodial provider uses hospital-grade, EPA approved cleaning supplies.  We are providing all teachers with hand sanitizer and surface cleaner that meets these same requirements.  We understand parents want to help with providing hand sanitizer and surface cleaners; please be advised we do not need you to send these supplies, at this point, for this school year. 

 

Section V:  Classroom Provisions and Social Distancing

Will students share supplies or keep their own?

Students will be encouraged to use their own supplies as much as possible.  Some supplies, such as a classroom set of tools or equipment like iPads, will continue to be shared, and will be sanitized as is possible and appropriate.

UPDATED 7/16/20 When will school supply lists be posted?

Schools will post lists by July 27 on their individual websites; on the CCSD website, as we did last year, we will post a webpage with links to all school lists-- UPDATE  School supply lists are online here.  While hand sanitizer and wipes may still appear as standard items on some lists that were carried over from last year, you do NOT need to send these items.  The School District is going to supply these to all schools.  Beginning this school year, we are encouraging parents to consider purchasing a laptop computer for their child if they do not already have access to one at home; our Office of Technology’s recommendations are posted online at https://bit.ly/CCSDlaptop20.  

What social-distancing measures will you have in place in classrooms?

When possible, we will move desks apart and use other common-sense practices; due to space constraints as well as the nature of teaching and learning, we will not be able to consistently maintain six feet of distance between students or six feet of distance between students and teachers or other staff who work with students.

Will students still change classes?

We will be significantly limiting classroom changes at the elementary level.  We will be adjusting bell schedules at the middle school and high school levels to reduce the volume of students in hallways at the same time.

NEW 7/13/20 How many students will be in my child’s in-person class?

This will not be known until we know how many students are enrolling in Digital Learning and how many are withdrawing to home school.  Based on parent responses to our questionnaire, we anticipate as many as 20% of our students will not attend in-person classes.  That does not equate to a 20% reduction in students in each classroom, as these students are spread across grades, schools and, for middle and high school, specific courses.  In some instances, there may be fewer students in a class than an average school year.

NEW 7/13/20 Will my child “dress out” for PE class?

Yes – PE class requires changing clothes in the locker room.  Our custodial staff will be cleaning locker rooms during the day, with a focus on high-touch areas.

 

Section VI:  Student Transportation and Social Distancing

What extra steps will you take to keep buses clean?

School bus high-touch areas will be disinfected between routes; all bus drivers will be provided with a sanitizer spray, that is safe for use on hands, to keep on board.  All buses additionally will be thoroughly cleaned daily, and buses will be disinfected weekly using a professional fogging system.

What social-distancing measures will be used on school buses?

While we will not be able to consistently maintain six feet of distance between students, we will use assigned seating, as needed, to improve safety, as well as loading and unloading efficiencies.

NEW 7/13/20 When will I know my child’s bus number and pick-up and drop-off times?

We anticipate that the online school bus stop look-up system at https://www.cherokeek12.net/Content2/bus-stop-look-up will be updated and activated by July 29.

 

Section VII:  School Meals and Social Distancing

Where will my child eat lunch?

We will be splitting each high school lunch period between lunch and study hall, to reduce in half the number of students in the cafeteria at the same time.  We will be splitting the middle school population, with half of the students each lunch period, on a rotating pattern, eating in the cafeteria and half eating in the classroom (cafeteria meals will be available in to-go bags for students eating in the classroom; students will still have the opportunity to select their meal choices for this model).  Elementary schools will vary, based on size, between models where we add lunch periods to reduce the volume in the classroom and models where we split the population each lunch period between the cafeteria and classroom (cafeteria meals will be available in to-go bags for students eating in the classroom; students will still have the opportunity to select their meal choices for this model).  Your child’s school will share specific plans with you the week before school starts.

Where will my child eat breakfast?

Students will be permitted to eat breakfast in school cafeterias, with social distancing measures in place, and also are permitted to take to-go bags to their classroom to eat there. 

What extra steps are you taking to make cafeterias safe?

UPDATED 7/20/2020 Students will not select items off the cafeteria lines themselves unless the item is packaged or prewrapped; they will ask for their choice, and a School Nutrition worker will hand it to them.  Students will not enter their Student ID themselves; they will tell it to the School Nutrition cashier, who will enter it.  Clear plastic barriers have been installed at the cashier’s station to enhance safety.  All School Nutrition staff, who already are certified for food handling safety, will follow increased safety measures.  Additional safety protocols will be in place as well, including sanitizing tables between seatings; all School Nutrition staff wearing masks; high-touch areas sanitized at least every hour; and deep cleaning nightly.

Will I be permitted to eat breakfast or lunch with my child at school?

We will not permit guests (parents, grandparents, etc.) in the cafeteria during the first nine weeks of school.  This will be revisited prior to the start of the second nine weeks.

UPDATED 7/13/20 Will water fountains be in use?

No.  All water fountains have been shut off.  Water bottle filling stations are being installed in all schools that do not already have them in place.  Each school will have at least four water bottle filling stations open when schools reopen.  Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottle for use during the day.

 

VIII. Classroom Provisions, School Events and Social Distancing

Will my child still have larger classes like specials (i.e., art, music, PE), connections and electives?

We will continue to offer all of these classes.  When possible, we will move desks apart and use other common-sense practices; due to space constraints as well as the nature of teaching and learning, we will not be able to consistently maintain six feet of distance between students or six feet of distance between students and teachers or other staff who work with students.

Will my elementary school child still have outdoor recess?

Yes; each school will work within its schedule to reduce the number of classes at the same playground at the same time.  All playground equipment will be disinfected by ABM custodial staff at least two times each day.

Will there still be special events like assemblies and pep rallies?

We will not hold any large indoor assemblies during the first nine weeks of school.  This will be revisited prior to the start of the second nine weeks.

Where will my child go after he or she arrives at school?

Upon arrival, students either need to go to the cafeteria for breakfast or go to their first class of the day.  We will not be able to permit students to gather in groups in hallways or other common areas before school begins.

Will my elementary school offer After School Program?

Yes – we will continue to offer this optional program for a fee to our families who need childcare, and we will follow common-sense practices for social distancing.

UPDATED 7/13/20 Will my school offer after-school clubs, extra-curricular activities and athletics?

Yes – in high schools only we will continue to offer these optional programs, and we will follow common-sense practices for social distancing.  We will follow all Georgia High Schools Association guidance for the athletics and extra-curricular programs it oversees.  Elementary school and middle schools clubs will be not be held during the first nine weeks of school.

Will there be athletic events like football games?

The Georgia High Schools Association will determine whether these will be permitted and will issue its own requirements.  Upon review, CCSD may decide to incorporate additional requirements for safety.

Will field trips be possible?

We will not sponsor any class field trips during the first nine weeks of school.  This will be revisited prior to the start of the second nine weeks.  The only exception to this will be travel for high school athletics, which will be allowed in accordance with Georgia High Schools Association guidelines.

Will I be permitted to walk my child inside the building to their classroom?

No.  This will not be permitted -- not even on the first day.  We know this is a favorite tradition for many families, but it cannot be permitted this year.  We will have meet-and-greet or walk-through opportunities with staggered schedules, so students who are starting school for the first time and/or starting at a school that is new to them will have the opportunity to see their classroom and main areas before the first day of school.  During the first days of school, we will have school staff stationed by the car rider line and bus lanes to ensure our preschool, PreK and kindergarten students are walked to their classroom by staff.

Will I be permitted in the front office to bring my child in late, sign my child out, drop something off for my child, attend an IEP meeting, etc.?

Yes, but before being permitted to enter a building, all visitors must answer a series of health screening questions that are posted online at https://bit.ly/CCSDvisitors20; upon entering the lobby, visitors must submit to temporal scan.  Anyone whose questions indicate potential exposure to COVID-19 will not be permitted to enter the building; anyone whose temperature is 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to stay in the building.  If you do not pass these requirements and need to pick up your child because he or she is sick, a staff member will come outside to bring you your child.  If you know you will not pass these requirements, do not come to the school.

UPDATED 7/13/20 Will volunteers be allowed at school?

Volunteers will be allowed, but opportunities will be adjusted and/or limited using common sense to ensure social distancing as much as possible.  We appreciate all of our volunteers and want them to stay as safe as our students and employees.  For the first nine weeks of school, volunteers will be restricted to work opportunities in the front office and/or other locations where there will be no interaction with students.  Before being permitted to enter a building, volunteers must answer a series of health screening questions that are posted online at https://bit.ly/CCSDvisitors20; upon entering the lobby, volunteers must submit to temporal scan.  Anyone whose answers indicate potential exposure to COVID-19 will not be permitted to enter the building; anyone whose temperature is 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to stay in the building.

NEW 7/13/20 Will you still use substitute teachers?

Yes – we have an outstanding pool of substitute teachers who responded when surveyed that they are ready to return to work.  All substitute teachers, upon arrival at the school, will be asked to answer a series of health screening questions that are posted online at https://bit.ly/CCSDvisitors20 and must submit to a temporal scan.  Anyone whose answers indicate potential exposure to COVID-19 will not be permitted to enter the building; anyone whose temperature is 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to stay in the building.

Will my child’s school hold a Curriculum Night once school begins so I can learn more about their classes?

Schools will hold Curriculum Night events, but the format may be changed to a virtual event or an in-person event that uses schedules limiting the number of visitors to the building at the same time.  You will receive specific information from your child’s Principal. 

UPDATED 7/13/20 What will the attendance policy be for this school year?

The attendance policy will remain unchanged.  Students who are out due to illness will continue to have the opportunity to make up work without academic penalty.  Students who are confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 and must quarantine and students who have been exposed to COVID-19 and must quarantine will be granted “Excused Absences”; they also may potentially be served through CCSD’s Hospital Homebound Service, depending on the length and nature of the absence.  If you think your child is showing signs of possible COVID-19 infection (please see the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention’s information posted online at https://bit.ly/CDCcovidinfo20), you should keep your child home from school and contact your child’s pediatrician or physician.  An absence for this reason also will be considered an “Excused Absence” with the opportunity to make up work without academic penalty.

Will there be attendance incentives or awards this school year?

No attendance incentives or awards will be permitted in any CCSD schools for the 2020-21 School Year.

NEW 7/13/20 Will any non-parent visitors be allowed at school?

Non-parent essential visitors, including but not limited to Department of Family and Children Services and Department of Juvenile Justice caseworkers, will be restricted to front offices.  Before being permitted to enter a building, all visitors must answer a series of health screening questions that are posted online at https://bit.ly/CCSDvisitors20; upon entering the lobby, all visitors must submit to temporal scan.  Anyone whose answers indicate potential exposure to COVID-19 will not be permitted to enter the building; anyone whose temperature is 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to stay in the building.

NEW 7/13/20 Will voters be allowed to enter schools for the Aug. 11 Primary Election runoff?

Yes – we are required by law to allow the Cherokee County Board of Elections to utilize school facilities as precincts for elections.  Access to schools for elections is limited to the entrance closest to the polling site, the polling site (media center, gym, etc.) and a restroom closest to the polling site for poll worker use only.  Students and staff will not be permitted in the areas used for polling.  The polling site, entrance and restroom will be cleaned and disinfected prior to any use by students and staff.

 

IX. Potential COVID-19 Exposures at School

If my child starts running a fever at school, what will happen? And what about my child’s siblings?

Your child will be sent to the nurse’s clinic; you will be contacted so you can immediately pick your child up from school.  The nurse will notify the school nurses for your child’s siblings who are in CCSD schools; those nurses will evaluate the siblings.  If the siblings are not running a fever, they will be allowed to stay at school.

What happens if a student or employee at my child’s school tests positive for COVID-19?  Will I be notified if/when this happens?

Any CCSD student or employee who tests positive for COVID-19 must stay home from school under quarantine.  The Department of Public Health (DPH) will instruct the student’s parents and the employee on proper next steps.  CCSD will be notified by DPH as to when the student or employee may return to school.  DPH will conduct contact tracing and notify anyone whose contact with the student or employee requires them to stay home and quarantine.  If a student or employee at your child’s school tests positive, as soon as CCSD is notified by DPH, CCSD will send a notification by email to all employees at that school and the parents of all students at that school; this notification will not include information that would specifically identify the student or employee, per federal privacy laws. 

If there is a case in my child’s classroom, will we all have to quarantine for two weeks? for each case?

The Department of Public Health (DPH) determines when quarantine is necessary on a case-by-case basis.  Instructions from DPH on whether quarantine is needed and for how long will be included in the CCSD notification by email to all employees at that school and the parents of all students at that school. 

How many cases will be the “tipping point” for school closure?

CCSD will follow the Department of Public Health’s guidance on when to close a school.  When considering quarantines and possible closures, we will look at closing individual classrooms and/or schools before we consider closing all CCSD schools.

If I hear of a family or employee who has COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone who has, whom should I notify?

Please contact the Department of Health: https://dph.georgia.gov/.

Will families who travel during school breaks be allowed to come back in person without a quarantine period?

If a student has traveled to a COVID-19 advisory area (as designated by the CDC and posted on its website here) within the past 14 days, they must not come to school until that quarantine period ends. 

 

 

PART TWO:  CCSD Digital Learning Model Protocols

 

Section I:  Making a Decision and Getting Started

UPDATED 7/13/20 What if I start Digital Learning for my child and change my mind before the commitment period ends?

You are asked to make a commitment – the first nine weeks for elementary school (Aug. 3, 2020 through Oct. 9, 2020) and the first semester for middle and high school (Aug. 3, 2020 through Dec. 18, 2020) – to ensure we can provide the best learning environment possible.  If a student begins Digital Learning and requests to return to Traditional In-Person learning, he or she will be added to a homeroom and to individual classes where seats are available; students will not be guaranteed a seat in the classes of their choice; we will honor School Reassignment requests that were approved by the Office of School Operations in writing this spring.  We cannot accommodate students interested in Digital Learning after the July 17 commitment date; the only exception to this is if his or her school closes due to COVID-19 and, in those instances, all students will participate in Digital Learning for a specific period of time.  Digital Learning is not available to our preschool or PreK students, with the exception of students who have an existing IEP for Special Education services.

Will all classes available for Traditional In-Person school also be available through Digital Learning at home?

No.  Based on available resources, we know we will not be able to provide all classes in our Traditional In-Person course catalog through Digital Learning.  Please be advised that some Traditional In-Person middle school and high school electives and select academic classes will not be offered through Digital Learning; please review the Digital Learning Course Guide, included in our CCSD Reopening of School Plan online at https://bit.ly/CCSDplan20 before committing to Digital Learning.  Additionally, some high school Digital Learning classes will instead be provided by Georgia Virtual School, which is administered by the Georgia Department of Education, including, but not limited to, all Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

If my child’s school closes to quarantine and switches to Digital Learning, will my child stay in the same Digital Learning classes?

We will not change the arrangements for your child during the initial commitment period of Digital Learning (nine weeks for elementary; first semester for middle and high).

After the initial commitment period, if Digital Learning doesn’t continue, where will my child attend school?

Your child will attend school at the school he or she is zoned to attend. 

How will my child get to know his Digital Learning teacher and the students in his class?

As Digital Learning students and families will not participate in a meet-and-greet or walk-through event, all Digital Learning teachers will set a time and date for a virtual meet-and-greet through Microsoft Teams/Canvas.  You will receive specific information from your child’s teacher.    

NEW 7/13/20 What if my child doesn’t know his student ID for me to complete the Digital Learning Commitment Form?

This is the ID most students have memorized, as they use it to purchase meals in the cafeteria and to log on to computers.  It also is printed on your child’s report card.  If your child doesn’t know this ID and you cannot find the report card that was mailed to you in May, please call the front office of your child’s school, which is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday – Friday, for assistance.

NEW 7/13/20 We are awaiting the final details to close on the purchase of a home in Cherokee County and want to enroll in Digital Learning.  We don’t have a student ID yet.  What should I do?
Please complete the Digital Learning Commitment Form and note PENDING for your response to the Student ID question.  You will be required to produce records that show your home closing occurred after 5 p.m. July 17 for this Digital Learning enrollment to be honored.

NEW 7/13/20 What are the Digital Learning courses available to my child for middle and high school?  What if my child wants to take a class that isn’t listed? 

The courses are listed in the CCSD Reopening of School Plan posted online at https://bit.ly/CCSDplan20 beginning on page 54 in the appendices.  These are the only courses being offered to middle and high school students through Digital Learning.   If your child is in a Career Pathway, foreign language or unique situation and needs a course not offered, we ask that you reach out to your child’s school.  School staff are compiling the data and reviewing options for those students on a case-by-case basis.

NEW 7/13/20 How will my middle school or high school student select the Digital Learning courses and electives they want to take?

Class assignments will be made based on the schedule previously planned for in-person instruction.  If a class is not offered through Digital Learning, such as Band or a CTAE class, students will be placed in another available elective.  Schools will communicate these draft schedules to students in as timely a manner as possible, with the option to choose a different elective(s) from the course catalog instead.

NEW 7/13/20 When will I know my child’s schedule for Digital Learning and who my child’s teacher(s) will be?

Schools will not begin to build classes and schedules until after the July 17 Commitment Form deadline due to the considerable work required to reallocate resources. 

NEW 7/13/20 Will there be a different school supply list for those who choose Digital Learning?

Yes – this will be individualized by teacher and by class.  You will receive more information from your child’s teacher in as timely a manner as possible.  Schools will not begin to build classes and schedules until after the July 17 Commitment Form deadline. 

NEW 7/13/20 Will my child’s official transcript note that they took their classes through Digital Learning?

No – there will be no notations that courses were taken through Digital Learning or that Digital Learning was offered through Apex and GAVS.

NEW 7/13/20 Are Apex classes recognized by the NCAA?  This is a question of concern for me as my child hopes to earn an athletic scholarship.

Apex classes as our students have used them in the past for recovery credit are not currently recognized by the NCAA.  We have applied for clearance from the NCAA for our planned use of Apex for initial credit (which is a different than Apex for recovery credit); this same process will be occurring across the country as school systems seek clearance for digital learning plans. 

NEW 7/13/20 What if the class my high school senior needs in order to meet state graduation requirements isn’t being offered through Digital Learning?

We will address this situation on a case-by-case basis to ensure students are able to graduate on time.

NEW 7/14/2020 Have CCSD teachers had any input into the Apex course content?

Digital Learning teachers will be provided with Apex course content reviewed and vetted by fellow CCSD teachers.  Canvas courses will be partnered with each Apex course to provide access to additional content and/or activities where needed.

NEW 7/14/2020 Will GAVS AP courses be weighted the same as those offered in person?

Yes - course weighting for GAVS AP courses will remain the same for students weighted NGA and GPA.

NEW 7/14/2020 How will Digital Learning middle and high school students be placed in classes when they return to in-person classes?

Digital Learning students who return to in-person classes at the start of the second semester will be placed in the same classes as they would had they attended in-person classes the first semester – they will not be penalized for attending Digital Learning.  If students decide to leave Digital Learning mid-semester to return to the classroom, we will make our best efforts to seat them in similar classes, but can’t guarantee availability in all classes, such as electives.

NEW 7/14/2020 I  have heard that Apex does not offer advanced content classes for middle school, but I see them on the digital schedule.  What does this mean for my gifted/honors track middle school student? 

While Apex does have separate courses for high school on-level courses and honors courses, this is not the case for middle school, so CCSD will be supplementing the Grade 6-8 advanced courses through Canvas with additional high level content; these advanced middle school students will be doing work through both Apex and Canvas.  As each Apex class will have an assigned CCSD teacher, those teachers will be able to ensure that the digital content is comparable to the advanced content that students in traditional in-person classes are receiving.  

NEW 7/15/2020 If my student chooses Digital Learning for 9 weeks and then returns to school for the In-Person model, will he/she be able to attend AIM (gifted program) upon return?

Yes, your student will be eligible.

NEW 7/15/2020  If available for my gifted child, what would AIM in Digital Learning look like?

Students will participate in live and recorded lessons with both independent assignments and collaborative assignments one day a week.  These sessions will provide both academic challenge and cognitive enrichment.  Time will be built into the AIM instructional day for students to complete independent work assigned by their homeroom teacher, as well.

NEW 7/15/2020 If my child is gifted identified, will he/she have a gifted endorsed digital classroom teacher?

Possibly.  It will depend upon the certifications of those who apply and are selected as Digital Learning teachers.

Section II:  Expectations for Teaching and Learning

How much work will my child be expected to do each day?  How does it compare to what we did in the spring?

Digital Learning will require students meet much higher expectations than the spring Digital Learning Days.  Digital Learning teachers will be covering the same lessons online as they would in person, and Digital Learning students will be expected to complete the same in-class assignments and the same homework.  Expectations for completing and submitting work and for mastering standards will be the same for Digital Learning students as for Traditional In-Person students.  Assignments will be due in the same timely fashion for Digital Learning students as they are for Traditional In-Person students.  Grading expectations for Digital Learning Students will be the same as for Traditional In-Person students.  If the spring Digital Learning Days were challenging for your student and/or for you as parent, please be prepared for Digital Learning to be more challenging.    

How much time will my child’s teacher(s) spend online with the class?

Digital Learning elementary school teachers and Special Education preschool/PreK teachers will teach Digital Learning classes from their classrooms for the entirety of the regular school day.  For middle and high school, teachers will work a blended day of teaching Traditional In-Person classes and Digital Learning classes from their classrooms.  All Digital Learning instruction will use a combination of independent online work by the student and real-time instruction with the teacher.  The amount of real-time instruction will vary based upon the content being taught, as well as the grade level, age and need of the individual student.  If the spring Digital Learning Days were challenging for your student and/or for you as parent, please be prepared for Digital Learning to be more challenging. 

When will my child’s teacher(s) be available if we have questions?

Digital Learning teachers will be working in their regular classrooms at school for the entirety of the regular school day.  Elementary school and Special Education preschool/PreK Digital Learning teachers will be teaching Digital Learning classes only; middle and high school Digital Learning teachers will have a blended day of teaching Traditional In-Person classes and teaching Digital Learning classes online.  As these teachers will be carrying the same significant workload as their colleagues, we ask parents to have reasonable expectations for how quickly they will be able to respond to your emails requesting assistance.

When we did digital learning in the spring, the teachers extended deadlines and allowed my child to redo work.  Will that still happen?

No.  Assignments will be due in the same timely fashion for Digital Learning students as they are for Traditional In-Person students.  Grading expectations for Digital Learning students will be the same as for Traditional In-Person students.  Digital Learning students will not be extended any additional grace in completing work on time or in mastering standards.  The only exception will be if a student is sick: a Digital Learning student, just like a Traditional In-Person student, will be extended the same opportunity to make up work without academic penalty.  If the spring Digital Learning Days were challenging for your student and/or for you as parent, please be prepared for Digital Learning to be more challenging.    

Will my child be in classes with teacher(s) from the school he usually would attend in person?

That cannot be guaranteed.  Our priorities in selecting teachers to lead Digital Learning will be subject knowledge and online teaching proficiency.  Additionally, some high school Digital Learning classes will instead be provided by Georgia Virtual School, which is administered by the Georgia Department of Education, including, but not limited to, all Advanced Placement (AP) courses. 

What lessons plans will teachers be using for digital learning?

CCSD Digital Learning elementary school teachers will be modifying the same lessons they would otherwise be teaching in person and teaching students through Microsoft Teams/Canvas video-conferencing.  Elementary students will participate in core academic lessons – reading, writing, math and social studies; specials lessons (art, music and PE) also will be offered.  All classes will be taught by certified CCSD teachers.  Our Office of Curriculum & Instruction will be providing guidance and support to teachers selected for this program to ensure lessons meet Georgia Performance Standards.  Students will be expected to attend scheduled Microsoft Teams/Canvas classes, complete assigned work, and be an active participant in the virtual learning environment. 

CCSD Digital Learning middle and high school teachers will be using existing online courses, known as Apex courses, currently used for our credit recovery program.  You can learn more about Apex by watching the video online at https://bit.ly/CCSDapex20.  Students will work at their own pace through these lessons.  A certified CCSD teacher will be assigned to each Apex course to ensure students keep the pace to complete course work on time and to provide instruction and remediation as needed.  Additionally, some high school Digital Learning classes will instead be provided by Georgia Virtual School, which is administered by the Georgia Department of Education, including, but not limited to, all Advanced Placement (AP) courses.  Students will be expected to attend any scheduled Microsoft Teams/Canvas sessions for instruction and remediation; complete assigned work; and be an active participant in the virtual learning environment. 

Specialized services such as Special Education, Gifted, ESOL, and EIP will be delivered in the virtual learning environment for Digital Learning students, with the expectation all students attend virtual sessions and complete all assignments as communicated by the assigned teacher.

Will my child continue to receive Special Education services?

Yes.  When you sign up for Digital Learning, you will be asked to indicate if your child has an IEP for special education services.  Your child’s IEP case holder will then be notified and contact you to discuss how services will be provided.   

NEW 7/13/20 How many students will be in my child’s Digital Learning class?

This will not be known until we know how many students are enrolling in Digital Learning.  We will, as much as possible, create classes similar in size to in-person classes, but, in some instances, there may be fewer students in a class than an average school year.

UPATED 7/17/20 How much interaction will my child have with Digital Learning teachers?

Elementary school students will have daily interaction with teachers through Microsoft Teams video-conferencing; the minutes will vary by grade and by class.  Middle school students and high school students will receive instruction through Apex and Canvas for all classes other than Advanced Placement (AP) classes, which will be provided through the Georgia Department of Education’s Georgia Virtual School (GAVS) programs.  For Apex classes, the majority of the work will be done by students at a scheduled pace; supplementary assignments will be completed in Canvas; there will be scheduled sessions with the teacher through Microsoft Teams video-conferencing, the frequency and length of which will vary by grade and by class.  Some of this video-conferencing will be with the class as a whole, while some will be one-on-one for individual instruction and remediation.

NEW 7/13/20 What time will my child’s Digital Learning classes begin and end?

Elementary school students’ daily interaction with teachers through Microsoft Teams video-conferencing will be scheduled by the individual teacher and only will take place during the regular school day.  They will have independent work to do that can be done at their own pace as long as it is completed by the deadline set by the teacher.  Middle and high school students will largely be able to set their own day’s schedule; they will be required to participate in Microsoft Teams video-conferencing as scheduled by the teacher; they will be required to complete work by the deadline set by the teacher.

NEW 7/13/20 What will the attendance policy be for Digital Learning?

It will be the same as for Traditional In-Person Learning.  Students who cannot participate in their learning for the day due to illness will continue to have the opportunity to make up work without academic penalty. 

NEW 7/13/20 If an elective isn’t offered through Digital Learning for the first semester, such as Band, will students be allowed to take it the second semester if they then are attending Traditional In-Person?

Yes – a student’s inability to take the first semester of a year-long elective because it is not offered through Digital Learning will not prohibit their participation the second semester in that elective in our Traditional In-Person setting.

NEW 7/14/2020 Will my middle/high student have one teacher for Digital Learning? 

Middle and high students in Apex classes will have different teachers for each course, based on the subject area.  For core content courses, students will be paired with a subject certified teacher. This is different from how some CCSD students in the past have used Apex, whether for credit recovery or initial credit in some instances.

NEW 7/14/2020 Will students using Apex be allowed to move at their own pace or finish courses early? 

Apex courses will not be completely self-paced; Digital Learning teachers will monitor student progress in Apex and unlock additional content to ensure that students remain on pace with students who are taking courses in person.  Students are able to work on the Apex assignments on their own time, rather than a set schedule.  However, time commitment expectations will mirror those of a standard school day, so it is advised that students keep a regular daily working schedule.

 

Section III:  Participation in School Activities and Accessing Services

Will my child still be allowed to come to school for after-school clubs, extra-curricular activities and athletics?

Yes.  If you are social distancing by choosing Digital Learning, then you still will be eligible to participate in after-school activities.  There will not be special accommodations made for Digital Learning students – opportunities and protocols will be the same for all CCSD students.

Can my child participate in special events at the school?

We will not hold any large indoor assemblies during the first nine weeks of school.  This will be revisited prior to the start of the second nine weeks, as will the opportunity for Digital Learning students to participate.

Can my child go on field trips if any are scheduled?

We will not sponsor any class field trips during the first nine weeks of school.  This will be revisited prior to the start of the second nine weeks, as will the opportunity for Digital Learning students to participate.

Can my child use the school media center or counseling services?

Yes.  If your child wants to visit the media center, you will be able to email or call the media specialist to make an appointment; there likely will be other students and staff in the media center at the time.  If you or your child need a school counselor’s assistance, you will be able to email or call the counselor for guidance, and also may, by call or email, request a Microsoft Teams call appointment or an in-person appointment; if you make an in-person appointment, it will be during school hours, and there likely will be other students and staff in the immediate area.

What about school picture days or being included in the yearbook?  How will we be included?

Yes.  A student can participate in school picture day at the school he or she would regularly attend.  No special protocols will be put in place for Digital Learning students; there will be other students and staff in the picture area at the same time.

 

Section IV:  Technology Support and School Nutrition

We don’t have a computer.  Will CCSD provide us with one?

Maybe.  Once we have an accurate headcount of the number of students who are signing up for Digital Learning, we will assess how many laptop computers are available to loan, as the majority will be needed for use in schools.  Those laptops will be distributed based on the greatest need, as determined by CCSD, as supplies last.  Beginning for this school year, we are encouraging parents to consider purchasing a laptop computer for their child if they do not already have access to one at home; our Office of Technology’s recommendations are posted online at https://www.cherokeek12.net/docs/district/depts/4/Student%20Laptop%20Specifications.pdf  

We don’t have Internet access.  Will CCSD be able to help us?

Maybe.  We have a very limited number of WiFi hotspot devices.  These will be distributed based on the greatest need, as determined by CCSD, as supplies last.

NEW 7/27/2020 If my child qualifies for free or reduced lunch, will meals be provided to us?

Yes.  CCSD will have to-go meals available to students enrolled in Digital Learning.  A plan for distribution now is posted online here.

 

NEW 7/13/20 PART THREE: Special Education Guidance

 

NOTE: Please review the CCSD Reopening of School Plan for Students with Disabilities (504 Plans and IEPs) posted online HERE.

 

If I choose for my child to participate in Digital Learning, what will my child’s Special Education services look like?

Your child’s IEP services / Section 504 Plan will depend upon what your child’s IEP team / Section 504 team has decided is needed and what Digital Learning may look like for your child.  Your child’s IEP team / Section 504 team will develop a COVID-19 Contingency Plan.  The COVID-19 Contingency Plan will identify how your child’s Special Education and related services identified in their IEP / Section 504 Plan can be provided via the Digital Learning model to the best of CCSD’s ability.

If you opt for your child to participate in the Digital Learning model, your child’s IEP services / Section 504 Plan may be different than if your child returned to the in-person school setting.

If I choose Digital Learning, what is the school’s obligation to provide services from my child’s IEP?

Again, Special Education services are highly individualized and based on the decisions made by your child’s IEP team / Section 504 team.  CCSD will offer FAPE via an IEP / Section 504 Plan that has been written to be implemented in the Traditional In-Person model, but if you choose the Digital Learning model, CCSD will implement your child’s services to the best of its ability and in light of the fact that in-school services have been offered.

I can’t make a decision.  What does CCSD recommend?

Unless otherwise decided by your child’s IEP team / Section 504 team, we encourage families with children with disabilities to allow their child to attend school so CCSD may fully implement the students’ IEP / Section 504 Plan as written and provide your child’s Special Education services.

My child is medically fragile or has an underlying medical condition.  I know Digital Learning is not the best instruction model.  What should I do?

CCSD’s primary focus will be on health and safety for your child.  Decisions about serving medically fragile students or students with underlying health conditions will require additional consideration and input from your child’s physicians and school nurses.  Decisions will need to be based upon the individual child and what is reasonably acceptable for the student.  FAPE will be provided to the student to the best of CCSD’s ability in light of the circumstances.  Please also refer to your child’s case holder / Section 504 Administrator.

Will Hospital Homebound Services (HHB) for approved students be delivered in my home?

At this time, HHB services will be provided virtually.

If I choose the Traditional In-Person model, can I add an accommodation to my child's IEP / Section 504 Plan that stipulates that all staff and other students in the classroom wear masks as well?

CCSD encourages and recommends the use of masks/face coverings by all staff and students; however, masks only are mandated for staff when social distancing is not possible, and masks are not mandated, at this time, for students.  Your child’s IEP / Section 504 Plan is written to address their individual needs only.

What happens if my child starts Traditional In-Person school and the Superintendent closes school due to a COVID-19 outbreak?

This will trigger the implementation of the remote learning environment with the development of the COVID-19 Contingency Plan.  Your case holder will collaborate with you to schedule an IEP Team / Section 504 meeting in the fall to develop the COVID-19 Contingency Plan.  This can also occur via an IEP Proposed Change form without a meeting, if you agree with the school’s recommendations.

If I choose the Digital Learning model, will my child's teacher be the same as if I chose the Traditional In-Person option?

Not necessarily.  This will be determined after July 17 once parents/guardians have elected their preferred learning environments for their students.

If I choose the Digital Learning option, will my child's speech language, occupational, and/or physical therapists serve my child at my house?

Related services will be provided via the Microsoft Teams platform, similar to what was offered in the spring.  Services will not be homebased.

Can all of my child’s 504 accommodations be provided in the Digital Learning or remote learning environment?

Your child’s COVID-19 Contingency Plan will specifically address the prioritized accommodations that are appropriate for the Digital Learning or remote learning environment.  This plan will be developed in collaboration with parents and guardians during the fall.