GGS School Reopening FAQs
Gardner 72C School Reopening Transition Plan FAQs
As the Board of Education and our team of educators prepare to begin the 2020-2021 school year differently than we have in the past, it is natural for all parties involved in the educational process to have a variety of questions. Provided below is a list of frequently asked questions, followed by our current response. As we have indicated in previous correspondence, we hold firm on the fact that our transition plan, as well as the responses to these FAQs, are subject to change following any updates from the Illinois State Board of Education, Center for Disease Control, Illinois Department of Public Health, or Grundy County Health Department.
In Person Learning:
What will In Person Learning look like?
Our K-5 educators will focus on literacy, math, and SEL instruction throughout the 4 hours of in-person instruction (8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.) each day. Educators will embed Science and Social Science content within the literacy lessons. However, each educator will have the autonomy to include specific Science and Social Science lessons within their instructional day throughout the week. If weather permits, we will attempt to move learners outside for mask breaks while complying with social distancing guidelines. Our K-5 learners will receive Physical Education every other day and will receive music lessons three times per week. Our Junior High learners will follow a schedule that includes daily math and language arts classes, with an alternating Science and Social Science block every other day. Junior High learners will receive daily Physical Education.
How will families self-certify/symptom screen each day?
We have partnered with TeacherEase, our Student Management System, to create a COVID-19 screening/self-certification process. Beginning Monday, August 17, families who have chosen in-person learning are required to complete the self-certification process through their TeacherEase parent portal. There are two ways to complete this process. The first method would be directly through the TeacherEase website. You can do this by accessing the district website at www.ggs72.org; click on the Resources tab on the right side of the homepage; click on TeacherEase; and use your login credentials to enter TeacherEase. After logging in, you will be prompted to complete the self-certification process before navigating to any other screen. The second method would be through the TeacherEase student/parent portal app. You can do this by downloading the TeacherEase Parents/Students app onto your mobile device. When accessing the app for the first time, you will use your login credentials to enter the system. You will then be prompted to complete the self-certification process before navigating to any other screen. Our staff will be able to see which families have completed the self-certification through our TeacherEase portal.
Are desks 6 feet apart?
With the exception of 2nd grade, which will only have 11 learners in that section, all other classes will have more learners than can accommodate the 6 feet between learners' seating location. Depending on the number of learners in each class, we will establish seating locations as far apart as possible consistent with the IDPH and ISBE guidance. This approach of socially distancing as much as possible throughout the school day reinforces the importance of learners wearing face coverings throughout the day.
How is switching classrooms being handled?
We have processes in place that minimize learners traveling to different locations. Our K-5 classes will remain in their homerooms, with our music educator pushing into the classroom for the music lesson. If weather permits, learners will travel to an outside location for Physical Education, remaining socially distanced without wearing a face mask. If weather does not permit, Physical Education will take place in the homerooms, with a hybrid focus of Physical Education and Health. Our Junior High learners will remain in their homerooms, with educators traveling from class to class to teach their specific content. Junior High Physical Education will follow the same approach as listed above for K-5.
Are desks being sanitized in between students?
As each learner will be assigned to a specific seating location/desk, with no other learner using that assigned seating location, desks will be sanitized each day after the 12:00 dismissal. This approach will maximize instructional minutes.
What about bathrooms, how often throughout the day are they being cleaned?
Each grade level will follow a rotating washroom use schedule. Kindergarten learners will use the washroom that is located within their classroom. In case of emergency, learners will have access to the single occupancy washroom located in the office. Embedded within the washroom schedule are two specific times for cleaning and sanitizing. Washrooms will also be cleaned and sanitized after the 12:00 dismissal, prior to learners returning the next day.
Once I have chosen the remote learning option, when will the option be available to change to in-person instruction?
Those families choosing the full remote learning option will be provided with remote learning activities by the child’s assigned educator through the first quarter, which concludes on Friday, October 16. After the conclusion of the first quarter, if we are continuing to offer remote learning at that time, families can reevaluate their option to have their child continue with remote learning or choose to send their child to school for in-person instruction.
What will I need to do to ensure my child is marked present for remote learning.
We have partnered with TeacherEase, our Student Management System, to create a Check-In for Remote Learning process. Beginning Monday, August 17, families who have chosen remote learning are required to check-in to remote learning through their TeacherEase parent portal. There are two ways to complete this process. The first method would be directly through the TeacherEase website. You can do this by accessing the district website at www.ggs72.org; click on the Resources tab on the right side of the homepage; click on TeacherEase; and use your login credentials to enter TeacherEase. After logging in, you will be prompted to complete the Check-In process before navigating to any other screen. The second method would be through the TeacherEase student/parent portal app. You can do this by downloading the TeacherEase Parents/Students app onto your mobile device. When accessing the app for the first time, you will use your login credentials to enter the system. You will then be prompted to complete the Check-In process before navigating to any other screen. Our staff will be able to see which families have completed the Check-In process through our TeacherEase portal.
We do not have computers for both of our children. Will devices be provided and will a Pick Up Day be scheduled?
It has been and continues to be our plan to provide each learner with their own device. Unfortunately, due to COVID-related delays, the new Chromebooks we are purchasing with federal grant dollars were not able to be secured and delivered prior to the start of the school year. We anticipate the delivery of the new Chromebooks by the first week of September. Therefore, we will need to lean on our families to utilize their personal devices to complete remote learning activities through the first few weeks of the school year. Once we receive the new Chromebooks and have ensured all necessary programs have been installed, we will deploy to our in-person learners and schedule a pick up day for remote learning families. In the meantime, we do have some devices that can be distributed to those families who do not have any electronic device in their home to complete remote learning activities or are in need of additional devices for additional children. If you are requesting one of our devices to begin the school year, please contact Dr. Merritt at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mrs. Walsh at email@example.com, and Mrs. Van Duyne at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who are in need of a device will be able to participate in a drive through pick up process during the afternoon of Monday, August 17 and Tuesday, August 18. Those two dates and times will also serve as material pick up for those remote learning families who need to pick up various materials, resources, and books from the classroom educator.
Will we need to have any other school supplies while they are at home doing remote learning or just the computer?
All families can access each grade-level specific supply list by accessing the district website at www.ggs72.org; click on Registration Info; then click on Supply List. Although families choosing remote learning may not need the same supplies as those choosing in person, we highly recommend purchasing the items indicated on the supply list so that your child has those supplies in their possession and prepared for when we return to full in-person learning.
How are teachers doing their lessons and getting instruction to the remote learners?
Educators are working to develop remote learning lessons that closely resemble the same learning opportunities afforded to those choosing in-person learning. Educators assigned to grades 3-8 will use Google Classroom, while educators assigned to grades K-2 will use Seesaw. Both platforms will be used to provide learning activities to both in-person and remote learners. Educators may use a livestream feature to deliver lessons remotely, or video record a lesson that can be viewed through the online learning platform. Educators may also deploy video links through the online platform that will guide learners and families through the learning process. Educators will establish a specific learning schedule for remote learners and their families to follow to ensure active engagement with the learning activities. Families choosing remote learning will be asked to complete and submit a remote learning parent contract, which establishes expectations of families, learners, and educators, as well as recognizes the parent as a partner educator.
When will teachers be available for questions and help?
Educators will utilize office times in the afternoon to support remote learners. Available times may be different for each educator. Educators will have two hours per day dedicated to remote learning in the afternoon. We are working to determine if a chat feature will be enabled through livestream or other online learning platforms throughout the morning part of the instructional day.
As educators, are each responsible for in-person and remote learning?
Educators will be responsible for both in-person and remote learning for their grade level or class section. This approach allows a better opportunity for similar learning opportunities for both in person and remote learners. This approach will also allow for efficiencies in the event we are mandated to return to a full remote learning model or during short or long term school or classroom closures.
What does remote learning look like for kids with IEPs?
Remote learners with IEPs will receive the accommodations and modifications listed in their IEP. Educators and paraprofessionals will support learners with IEPs in making progress towards each learner's specific IEP goals and objectives. Those choosing in-person will have direct contact with their teachers and service providers during the four hour in person instructional day. Those choosing remote learning will be provided their services through online platforms or telephone conference based on the minutes listed in the modified Individualized Blended Remote Learning Plan. At the beginning of the school year, educators will communicate with families of learners with IEPs to inform of any modifications.
Will teachers be available in school after 12 for students who need extra help?
Educators will be in the building Monday through Thursday until 3:25 p.m. and on Fridays until 3:05 p.m. They will be available to support remote learners for two hours per day in the afternoon.
COVID-19 Return to School:
What will happen if an individual (learner or educator) had close contact with someone, including a family member, who tested positive or is suspected of having COVID-19?
The individual may return to school/work after a 14-day quarantine period from date of last contact with the individual who tested positive for or is suspected of having COVID-19.
What will happen if an individual (learner or educator) tested positive or is suspected of having COVID-19 AND had symptoms?
The individual will follow a symptom-based approach, which allows the individual to return after at least 10 school days have passed since onset AND at least 24 hours since resolution of fever and improvement of other symptoms.
What will happen if an individual (learner or educator) tested positive for COVID-19, but was asymptomatic (had no symptoms)?
The individual will follow a time-based approach, which allows the individual to return after at least 10 school days have passed since the date of the first positive COVID-19 test.
What will happen when an individual (learner or educator) exhibits one or more symptoms of COVID-19, but is not suspected of having COVID-19 (ie. seasonal allergies, ear infection, seasonal flu, strep throat, migraine, etc.)?
The individual may be able to return in fewer than 10 school days after onset of symptoms AND 24 hours fever free. The individual should have a release to return to school or work from a licensed physician or evidence of the alternative reason for symptoms.