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Frequently Asked Questions:  Procedures for the School Year
Frequently Asked Questions: Procedures for the School Year
Dustin Barnes
Friday, July 10, 2020

Leer in Espanol

Frequently Asked Questions

This Frequently Asked Questions section has been created to provide answers to our stakeholders in the North Little Rock School District.  This is an evolving document so check back often to see if a question has been addressed.  If not, feel free to email parentengagement@nlrsd.org.  

Section I:  General Questions

1. When is the first day of school?
Per the Governor’s news conference on July 9, the 2020-2021 school year will begin no earlier than August 24 and no later than August 26.  We will communicate the first day of school at a later date.

2. What are the academic options for my student this school year?
The North Little Rock School District has two options for students for the 2020-2021 school year. 

A. Blended Learning (Face-to-Face/on-site learning):  Blended learning allows students to continue learning grade level or content standards through the use of technology-based and face-to-face instructional practices.  This option will be a traditional school day between teachers and students with on-site instruction.  All classes will be offered as normal.  Technology will be applied in certain ways to transition to online or virtual learning in the event a school closure warrants it.    

B.  Virtual Learning Academy:  This option is available for parents who do not feel comfortable sending their children to on-site learning.  This learning will be provided remotely with students using technology-based learning platforms.  Students will not be on campus and classes will be interactive with NLRSD teachers facilitating.  Attendance will be recorded and lessons will be graded as required.  Curriculum will be aligned with state standards. 

3. How will the district address deficits caused by the interruption of school last school year? 
Missed essential standards from the 4th quarter of the 2019-2020 school year will be addressed when students return through intervention blocks and through targeted lessons that combine missed standards with new content to ensure students are provided with grade-level content.  At both the elementary and secondary level, NWEA assessments and pre-assessments will be used to identify any missed skills from a previous course or subject and those additional skills will be embedded or layered into the fall quarter

4. What is the Reopening Task Force?
The Reopening Task Force is made up of parents, medical professionals, teachers, school leaders, city leaders, and district administrators who are helping to guide the district to make the best decisions on behalf of the students, staff, and parents in the age of COVID-19.  They will also adhere to the guidelines mandated by the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.   

Section II.  Questions about the Virtual Option

The students who are enrolled in the Virtual Option should expect a more comprehensive experience than last spring.  Teachers and paraprofessionals will work hard to ensure that the virtual experience will mimic the on-site experience as much as possible.  Teachers will be available for clarification on assignments.  

1.   If I sign my student up for the virtual option, can I change my decision during the school year?
Parents who choose this option will be asked to commit for the semester, which will end in December.  However, should extenuating circumstances arise, the district will entertain the idea of switching to the blended learning option.

2. How do I enroll my child into Virtual Academy?
Complete the following form: 
https://forms.gle/LU5Q2daxz9yyoYMe9 (English)
  https://forms.gle/YuBC5B6tnTw3SPZf7 (Spanish)

3.  How will the virtual option look for my student?
The virtual learning option will consist of a comprehensive learning experience for each child enrolled in this model.  It is 100% online and can be done at home.  Google Classroom will serve as the learning management system used by both teachers and students to deliver and receive instruction, assignments, and assessments.

4. Will my student be assigned a teacher?
Yes, a certified teacher employed by the North Little Rock School District will be assigned to each student.  Virtual students will have to meet with their teacher daily, either by Zoom or Google Meets.  Students will be expected to participate daily and must adhere to district policies as it relates to attendance, assignments, and behavior.  

5.   Will students be able to complete paper packets?
No paper packets will be provided.  This is 100% online.

6. Will elementary students enrolled in this option be able to participate in art, music and physical education? 
Virtually enrolled students will have a variety of lessons and activities to choose from that will be designed by fine arts teachers.

7.   Will students enrolled in the virtual school still be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities? 
Yes. 

8. How long will students be online in the virtual option?  If school is nearly 8 hours a day, will they be online 8 hours?
Virtual learning offers each student some flexibility in terms of time, place, pace, and path. Students will not be engaged in online learning for 8 hours each day, but there are expectations and limitations to the flexibility, such as regularly scheduled online classroom sessions, intervention periods, and conferences with teachers.  At the secondary level, where courses become more challenging, the number of fixed-scheduled online classroom meetings increases.  The expectations for online learning and a detailed schedule will be provided to each student who is enrolled in the academy.

9. Will my student receive therapy if we select the virtual option?
Therapy services like speech, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dyslexia, and mental health will still be offered.  Our staff will provide these services through teletherapy.  Parental consent will be required.

10. How will special education students receive the services they need?
Special education students will continue to receive services, as outlined in their IEP.  Google Classroom will serve as the channel in which these services will be delivered.  Google Meets or Zoom will be used for interaction.

11. How will Language Minority students receive services?
Language Minority Students will receive instruction through the same Virtual Academy as all other students and will be monitored by the ESOL department.  Language Minority Students also designated as English Language Learners will have the virtual academy, and receive the services of an ESOL certified specialist (as dictated by the LPAC).  Arkansas DESE guidelines for appropriate and equitable services will be followed, and all English language learners will be monitored by the ESOL department.

12. How will the district engage Quest (Gifted & Talented) students?  Will they receive the support that they need?
Yes, teachers will incorporate engaging and challenging instruction for theses students.

13. How will 504 students receive service?  
Teachers and paraprofessionals will continue to provide instruction as outlined by students’ 504 plans.

14. Will the Internet be required?
Families who select this option must have Internet access in order to use this option.

15. Will the district provide technology?
Families will be able to check out Chromebooks in order to participate if enrolled in the virtual option.  Information on reserving a device will be announced at a late date.

16. What grades are eligible for virtual learning?  
Kindergarten through 12th grade.

17.  If I enroll in the Virtual Academy, do I still need to register for school?  
Yes, you are still required to register for the school year.  Registration takes place online.  Visit nlrsd.org and click on the Registration tab on the home page.  On the left column, you will find "New Student Registration" or "Current Student Registration."  Click on the one that applies to you.    

Section III.  Questions about the Blended Learning (On-Site) Option
The Blending Learning Option connects the traditional school setting and virtual learning; however, it will take place on a school campus five days a week.  Google Classroom will be the medium used to deliver instruction as well.  The Blended Learning Option has been created in such a way that prepares students for a virtual learning experience in the event of a mandated closure.  

1. Will there be an Open House this year?
This will be determined at a later date.

2. Will face coverings or masks be mandatory?
The NLRSD is strongly encouraging all staff and students to wear a face covering. Currently, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is recommending all individuals 10 years old and over wear a face covering. We are strongly recommending that adults and students age 10 and up wear face coverings when physical distancing cannot be achieved particularly on school buses. 

The ADH has not issued a directive to require face covering; however, this does not downplay the importance of this additional safety measure. Students under 10 years of age and those with health issues and special needs will not be required to wear face coverings if circumstances make it difficult. Students will be highly encouraged to wear face coverings in areas with a high concentration of students where social distancing cannot be maintained.  In the event we have an increase in the number of positive cases, face coverings could become required. 

The district will provide masks for every student and staff member.  We are attempting to provide 3 washable masks for all students and staff as the ability of supply allows.  We will also have 3-ply disposable masks available for emergency needs. 

3. How will social distancing be observed at school?
Social distancing will be observed as much as feasibly possible.

At times, students will be closer than the recommended six feet apart. When social distancing requirements cannot be maintained such as class exchange time, hallways, etc., students will be expected to wear face coverings.

We will make every attempt to design classrooms and cafeteria spaces to increase the space between students but cannot always guarantee it will be six feet.  This is why face coverings are so strongly encouraged by the district.  Classrooms will be arranged to provide more space between students.  This may mean all desks are arranged in rows facing in a single direction. It may consist of reading or other special areas with bean bags, couches, or comfy chairs being removed. It might include transparent dividers between students who are seated at a table. We will make every effort to provide distance without limiting a student’s ability to interact and communicate with others in their classroom.  We will also make every effort to keep supplies and materials from being shared by students.

4. Will students have access to water fountains? 
No; however, students are encouraged to bring water bottles.

5. Will elementary students have recess?
Currently we are planning on having outdoor recess as weather permits. School personnel will be sanitizing equipment between classes. Classes will be scheduled on the equipment in order to provide all students with the opportunity to use the equipment. 

6. Will elementary students go to switch classes to attend the Library, Art, Music, and PE?
As of now, students will still have these classes.   

7. Will students be disciplined for not wearing a mask? 
The district will adhere to the guidelines outlined by the Arkansas Department of Health.  If the wearing of masks for students is required and a student refuses, then school administrators will address the situation according to the district’s disciplinary policy. 

8. What will switching classes look like for secondary students? 
Transitioning classes will be different for each campus, depending on the layout of each campus.  Schools are developing plans to allow for transitions while following health guidelines.

9. Will my student be able to attend Metro for classes?
Metro is located within the Little Rock School District.  We are awaiting word from the district if our students will be able to attend.

10. Will students and staff have their temperature taken? 
Students and staff will be screened each day. We are encouraging parents and staff members to check their temperature before reporting to school. 

11. If a student or staff member notices symptoms, what is the school’s plan to protect everyone on campus?

Any employee or student having symptoms of COVID-19 should seek medical attention in the health office as soon as possible.

Symptoms include the following: Fever of 100 or above, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste, or pneumonia, especially if you have been in contact with a known positive case. (Pneumonia is currently still part of the screening tool from Arkansas Ready resources.)

Building Nurse will adhere to the following procedures:

1. Assess patient
2. Isolate positive symptomatic patient
3. Arrange for dismissal
4. Urge COVID-19 testing
5. Document on District Covid-19 Tracking form
6. Notify Principal or Employee Supervisor
7. Notify custodial staff to properly disinfect the contaminated area
8. Contact ADH hotline to check testing results

Employee/Student will adhere to the following procedures:

1. Stay home from work/school
2. Get tested
3. Follow ADH directives
4. Notify Building Nurse of ADH directives and test results
5. Return to the school setting only when approved to do so. The employee will need to be approved to return by HR and ADH. Student will be approved to return by ADH and Building Nurse. 

If Employee/Student Tests Positive, the following procedures will be performed:

1.  Follow directives of ADH
2.  Supervisor and Building Nurse will:
            a. Notify appropriate Executive Director
             b. Make a record of contacts (within a distance of less than 6 feet for more than 15                  minutes)--all possible exposures. Begin making contacts immediately when directed. If the contact list is too lengthy to be completed before close of business the same day, contact colleagues to assist.
            c. Follow instructions of District Covid Lead - (Building Administration and Building Nurse who are trained in protocols for COVID.)

For Reentry to Work/School, the following procedures will be performed:
1.  When the Building Nurse receives notification from the Arkansas Department of Health authorizing the employee/student to return, the supervisor/parent may allow the employee/student to return.
2.  Building Nurse is to document the return date and any other information on the District.

12. Will students still be able to participate in ROTC?  
Yes, only for those attending campus.

13. Will aftercare be provided at Pike View, Crestwood, and Glenview?  
For now, district after-care programs will be open.  Should there be a change, parents will be notified.   

14. For students with sensory issues, will they be required to wear a face covering?
If a student has sensory issues, or any other health related issues that would prohibit him/her from wearing a mask, he/she would not be required to wear the mask. This expectation, though, must be included in the student’s IEP or 504 plan.

15. What is the district doing to ensure that each campus is a safe and sanitized environment for each student and staff member? 
The custodial staff at each location has worked hard all summer to have all schools cleaned and disinfected for staff and students.  This process started this summer with each classroom/area being cleaned with an all purpose cleaner and then disinfected using an EPA-approved disinfectant.  A plastic liner was placed over furniture to keep it sanitized.  All furniture was then placed in the hallway outside of the room. The room was then cleaned from top to bottom, including walls, light switches, floors.  The furniture was then replaced in the room.  After all rooms were cleaned in an area, the hall was cleaned. 

The restrooms were scrubbed using a floor machine along with an all purpose cleaner.  All partitions, walls, sinks, toilets and urinals were cleaned then each area was disinfected. 

All stairwells and handrails have been wiped with disinfectant.  Each cafeteria table was cleaned and disinfected thoroughly.

Hand Sanitizer stations have been purchased and will be placed at the entrances of the buildings and commonly used areas. 

The school day will include more disinfecting this year.  During the school day, the custodian will maintain a clean school, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces multiple times each day.  This will include the front entrance areas and restrooms.

The night custodians will routinely clean their assigned area but will also be using the Clorox Total 360 Spray Disinfectant System, which is an electrostatic sprayer for disinfecting.

16. In the event someone tests positive for COVID-19, how will parents be notified?  Also, will students be excused from classes?  
Parents/guardians will be notified by a letter sent home from school or phone call.  Yes, students who are told not to return to school for a particular amount of days or until released from doctor will be excused .  These directions will come from the ADH.

17. How does the district ensure buses will be safe?  
Drivers and Aides will do a full sanitation regiment during pre-trip and post-trip inspections with the CheckMate electrostatic cleaning systems and Quat Husky 814 products. Also, between loads we will wipe down seats and handrails sanitize with disinfectant wipes and spray.  Drivers and aides will wear masks and students will be encouraged to wear masks. We will distance students as much as possible on the bus.

18. Can family members eat lunch with students?
Under current ADH guidelines, visitors will not be allowed on campus outside of the foyer.  

19. Will there be athletic events this year?
Teams are preparing for athletic events; however, guidance will come from the Arkansas Activities Association. 

20. How will meal service look for students?
The Child Nutrition Department will try to keep all meal services as normal as possible while following all ADH and ADE guidelines. All Child Nutrition Staff will wear face masks/face shields and gloves. A hand sanitizer dispenser will be placed outside the serving line. Students will sanitize their hands before entering the serving area and adhere to socially distancing procedures. Students will request food items, and kitchen staff will place those items along with non-food items (utensils & napkins) on each student’s tray. All serving areas will be continuously sanitized during meal services. 

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