TASD Ready to Learn School Reopening Frequently Asked Questions
School is scheduled to start on August 26, 2020. This date will change only if the Office of the Governor sends updated guidance for this requirement. TASD will follow the Arkansas Ready for Learning guidance issued by the Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) as we plan for reopening school this fall.
We know that classes will look different this fall; however, we want to assure you that no matter which instructional pathway you choose, your child will receive a high quality education. Reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) may help you determine which instructional pathway is best suited for your child and answer any questions you may have as you prepare for the 2020-21 school year.
What are the options for students this school year?
Traditional: Students will attend a traditional school setting on campus five days per week, and campuses will follow state required safety guidelines while providing direct instruction.
Hybrid/Blended: Students will attend school on campus for two days per week and participate in virtual learning for three days per week. Virtual lesson schedules and assignments will be shared using Google Classroom.
Virtual: Students will participate in virtual learning five days per week. Virtual lesson schedules and assignments will be shared using Google Classroom.
How exactly will the hybrid/blended option work?
Students will be placed into small cohorts. These students will have limited contact with other students, not interacting with students outside of their cohorts. After two days of face-to-face learning, students will transition to three days of virtual instruction.
After I make a selection for my child, when will I be allowed to change pathways?
TASD is asking that all families make a commitment to remaining in their chosen pathway for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. We will evaluate the situation in December and allow for a different selection to be made for the second semester beginning in January of 2021.
Due to safety guidelines, we recommend that students not transition from virtual learning to either a hybrid/blended or traditional learning pathway. However, the District will consider a parent’s request to move to virtual learning at any time due to safety concerns.
Who will be required to wear face coverings?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone wear a face covering to help prevent community spread of COVID-19. Face coverings include any material that covers the nose and mouth and prevents respiratory particles from traveling beyond the immediate area of the person wearing the face covering.
Therefore, TASD has mandated that all employees, students, and visitors wear masks or other face coverings while on school property and/or engaged in school activities. Students and staff will be supplied with face coverings on the first day of school. School buildings will be stocked with a limited number of disposable facemasks for emergency situations. Face covering guidelines are located on the District website. https://www.tasd7.net/page/face-covering-guidelines
What safety measures will be in place for students when they are sharing a common space at school?
Social distancing will be observed as much as feasibly possible, but at times, students will be closer than the recommended 6 feet apart.
Our schools are working to create cafeteria and common spaces that reflect an increase in the space between students, but we cannot always guarantee students will be 6 feet apart during passing periods, lunchtime, and some other times of the day. Students will be encouraged to wear face coverings (see question #3).
The District will ensure that frequent cleaning occurs at all campuses.
Will the classroom environment be changed to better adhere to safety guidelines?
Schools are working to create classrooms that reflect an increase in the space between students, but we cannot always guarantee students will be 6 feet apart during all classes. Students will be encouraged to wear face coverings (see question #3).
Students will not be allowed to share supplies.
The District will ensure that frequent cleaning occurs at all campuses.
Will staff, students, and visitors be screened before they enter the buildings?
Both students and adults will be asked to complete a daily screening from home each day before coming to school. Individuals should not come to school if they answer yes to any of the following questions. Individuals will be asked the following questions:
Have you had a fever of 100.4°F or greater in the last 2 days?
Have you had a cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches,congestion, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell?
Have you been in contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 within the previous 14 days?
What happens if someone tests positive for COVID-19?
In the event an individual tests positive, TASD will follow the latest guidance from the ADH.
TASD will be in direct contact with ADH. This could result in a brief closure of a single school within the District to provide time for additional cleaning and sanitation
Will we have a Meet-the-Teacher event?
TASD will not have a typical Meet-the-Teacher event. However, each campus will work on alternate opportunities to provide the same level of welcome and orientation.
Will arrival and dismissal times change?
Yes. For elementary schools, in order to limit the amount of time students are in close proximity to each other, the arrival time will be 8:15 a.m. and dismissal time will be 2:45 p.m.
On secondary campuses, arrival and dismissal times will be the same: 8:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. for College Hill 6th Grade Academy, North Heights Junior High, and Arkansas High.
How will you address students with special needs within altered school pathways?
Students with special needs will be supported in each pathway. Any modifications written into an IEP or a 504 plan will be followed as written regardless of the pathway of the student. If adjustments are needed, those will only be made with input from the IEP/504 committee.
Will the District provide my child with a device? How will the District help with internet access?
Yes. The District is prepared to help provide devices and access to the internet based on identified remote learning needs.
Will a virtual or hybrid/blended option be available for pre-K?
No. Virtual and hybrid/blended pathways will not be available for pre-K students at this time.
Will I be able to eat lunch with my child?
No. Parent and guardian visits to school will be limited to essential activity.
What will school plays, performances, and events look like in the fall?
The Arkansas Activities Association will release guidance for all AAA activities, but large group gatherings will be limited.
Will my child take any field trips this fall?
TASD does not anticipate taking any field trips during the fall. In the event an opportunity presents itself, we will only allow a field trip if all safety guidelines can be followed. All students will have the opportunity to opt out of the trip for safety reasons.
Will transportation be provided this fall?
Yes. The District will provide transportation for all students, however, it is strongly recommended that students in grades 5 and up wear face coverings while on the bus.