FAQs

2020-2021 Return to School Plan Last Updated: 2/19/2021 8:47 PM

Note:  The answers in FAQs are subject to change based on new information or changes in guidelines as they arise. Please check back often.

*Please be advised VLA enrollment for the third trimester has now ended. If your child is enrolled in VLA, they will stay in VLA, even if the district goes to NTI.*


GENERAL

A: The start date has been pushed back to August 24. This would give us extra time to hire teachers, take delivery of the necessary cleaning supplies and watch where the COVID positive numbers go in our community. 

A: No. We had originally thought we would need to adjust start times to allow for extra cleaning of buses between elementary and secondary runs, but test       runs determined the extra time was not necessary

A: Until further notice parents, volunteers, and visitors will not be present on campus. If you need to see someone at the school, you will need to contact the office to make an appointment.

A: Yes, they will plan to continue providing this service at existing program sites for students in grades K-5. They will implement their own social distancing plans which will be communicated directly to their child care clients. 


LEARNING MODEL OPTIONS

A: Core classes will be available under both options. Available electives may differ between the traditional and virtual options. 

A: Virtual Learning Academy enrollment is required for each trimester with a commitment to attend VLA for the full trimester. Parents/Guardians will have the option of changing their child's enrollment status at each trimester break based upon personal preference. 

Trimester 1:  August 24 – Nov 20

Trimester 2:  Nov 23 – March 5

Trimester 3:  March 8 – June 2

A: Students in the Traditional School model will be able to participate in courses at the Arvin Education Center. VLA students are not permitted to attend classes in-person at the Arvin Center during the instructional day.

A: Students who are enrolled in courses at the Creative and Performing Arts Academy (CAPAA) will need to enroll in the Traditional School model.

A: Yes, you can have different children enrolled in different programs.

A: Each elementary school is developing a plan for kindergarten orientation. These plans include opportunities to meet the teacher. Some schools are offering virtual classroom tours, drive-by drop off of school supplies, etc. Each school will communicate directly with their families detailing the specific plans for kindergarten orientation.

VIRTUAL LEARNING ACADEMY

A: Switching is only allowed at the end of each trimester. There will be no exceptions. Switching would cause major staffing issues in both the VLA and school setting.  

Trimester 1:  August 24 – Nov 20

Trimester 2:  Nov 23 – March 5

Trimester 3:  March 8 – June 2

A:  If your student chooses VLA, most of the Arvin Center classes will be available online. You cannot attend in-person at the Arvin Center if you are enrolled in VLA.

A: No, we cannot allow students to attend classes at school during the day. You are either a virtual student or an in-person student.

A: Virtual Learning Academy enrollment is required for each trimester with a commitment to attend VLA for the full trimester. AP courses require a year-long commitment. Parents/Guardians will have the option of changing their child's enrollment status at each trimester break based upon personal preference.  

A: No. The Virtual Learning Academy is for students in Kindergarten thru 12th grade.

A: Yes. (Kindergarten full-day fee is required to enroll in VLA.)

A: VLA offers a full-time kindergarten experience. As the state only provides funding for half-day kindergarten, Oldham County Schools collects a fee to offset a small portion of the cost of full day kindergarten. This fee is used for staffing and specific resources required for both in-person or virtual instruction.

A: Certified elementary teachers will be serving as teachers in our Virtual Learning Academy.

A:  Students in VLA will be offered a standards-based curriculum in core subjects. While this curriculum may not be exactly that of their home school, it is designed to allow students to eventually transition back into the classroom at their home school.

A: We will work with the counselor of your child’s home school to make sure that their Edgenuity courses match their home school courses. In the case of Geometry, your child would be placed in the high school class on Edgenuity.

A: The elective classes at the middle school level are limited. Our goal is to help our middle school students focus on their core classes. Some middle schools offer a foreign language class in their school. Middle school students can take the foreign language classes that are listed as well.

A: Yes - AP classes will be offered in the Virtual Academy.

A: Only the following AP classes are offered through VLA. 

AP Biology

AP Calculus AB

AP English Language and Composition

AP English Literature and Composition

AP Environmental Science

AP Human Geography

AP Psychology

AP Statistics

AP US Government and Politics

AP US History

AP World History: Modern

A: Enrollment fees are the same for both VLA and in-person students; AP Courses through VLA will have the same costs associated with in-person AP courses. The only cost associated with VLA would be if your student enrolled in a foreign language course.

A: Students in our 1st to 3rd Primary Talent Pool (PTP) will have opportunities to have advanced curricular extensions online. Your child’s 1st to 3rd teacher will coordinate these services for you. In addition to regular classroom extensions, district level PTP enrichment services will also be offered.

Students in 4th and 5th grade students will have access to advanced course materials through the Edgenuity platform. 

In 6th to 8th grade, we will work with your student Virtual Learning Coach to ensure appropriate placement and pacing in the Edgenuity platform.

In 9th to 12th grade, your student will have access to a wide variety of Advanced Placement courses through the Edgenuity platform.

A: Students in 6-8 grade will enroll in a new elective at the start of each trimester. High school students will work with their counselor to determine the course placement that is best for them based on their schedule and credit requirements.

A: Yes, students enrolled in the VLA can compete in school sports sponsored by their home school. 

A:  There is no extra charge to enroll in the VLA program, however, registration needs to be completed at school and all normal school fees paid before a student will be enrolled in VLA. For students taking a foreign language, there is a fee involved. There is a fee for AP classes as well. Enrollment fees are the same for both VLA and in-person students; AP Courses through VLA will have the same costs associated with in-person AP courses.

A: Yes - AP courses for VLA students are a year-long commitment. AP courses will remain online for the remainder of the school year. If you choose to leave VLA and attend in-person classes in subsequent trimesters, you will continue your AP class on this platform online while resuming your normal school schedule in-person. If any changes to this are made, we will update the information provided.

A: When returning to in-person school, your child will be placed in the same in-person classes     that they were taking in the VLA. Related Arts classes at the middle school level rotate at the     trimester. When your child returns to their home school at the trimester, they will be placed in a     new RA class with a new cohort of students.

TRADITIONAL SCHOOL OPTION

A: No. We will not require a COVID-19 test prior to in-person attendance. The COVID-19 test is a “snapshot” showing that the person tested does not have COVID-19 at the time of the test. However, it provides no information on whether the person will contract the virus the next day, next week, or next month. Testing is only an effective intervention if it can be done regularly.

A: Yes. Recess will be organized to emphasize social distancing. Hand washing will occur immediately before and after recess.

A: Classrooms will be arranged and have non-essential furnishing removed to maximize social distancing to the extent feasible. 

A: Keeping surfaces clean will be a team effort in OCS. Maintenance workers and school custodians will clean frequently touched surfaces throughout the day and conduct overall cleanings at the conclusion of every day. All other staff members will be expected to do their part keeping surfaces clean, and will be provided spray bottles and microfiber cloths for additional cleaning. Teachers will have access to cleaning supplies for their classroom.

A: Buses will be sanitized after every run. After the elementary run the buses will be cleaned before picking up middle and high school students. The same will happen in the afternoon. After the elementary students are dropped off, the buses will be cleaned before the middle and high school students load the bus.

A: Until further notice parents, volunteers, and visitors will not be present on campus. If you need to see someone at the school, you will need to contact the office to make an appointment.

A: Schools will utilize classrooms and other areas of the building to spread students out.

A: Students who are out of school for quarantine will receive classwork and assignments from the teachers at their home school. Students who are quarantined for two weeks will not be automatically placed in the VLA. 

A: This is still being discussed. Some schools may choose to not use them and others may use lockers on a limited basis. You will receive specific guidance from your school. 

A: District-wide Closure: If all schools in the district are closed due to health concerns we have three scenarios which could occur.

 The closure occurs for two or less days, students will be expected to make those days up just like a snow day, and no work or NTI will be provided. Food service will not operate during this two day shut down period.

The closure occurs and lasts three to ten days, NTI will start on the third day knowing we could possibly have to make up for the two previous days missed. The expectation would be for the child's teacher to start NTI on the third day of any closure. Food service would not be provided once NTI is initiated, unless the federal government grants a waiver. Student work at a minimum would be collected on the fifth and tenth day of NTI.

The closure lasts beyond ten days, NTI would continue for the duration of the closure. Food service would not be provided, unless the federal government grants a waiver. Work would be collected every fifth day.

Individual School Closure: If individual schools are closed, but not the entire district the above mentioned scenarios would be the same.

Just know that it is a possibility that any school who is out for two or less days at a time could be required to make up their missed instructional days, just like a snow day. However, the rest of the district would not have to make up those days because they have fulfilled their calendar.

A: Yes, clubs and after-school activities can continue, as long as students and staff adhere to the same mask and social distancing standards     expected during the school day.

A: Secondary schools will be having band and choir but will look differently.

A: Students can return to Arvin if they have been taking a CTE course through Edgenuity that is also offered at Arvin. There is not an opportunity for students to return to CAPAA. Counselors will work with students to create their schedule to include band and/or choir when feasible. 


SPECIAL EDUCATION

LETTER TO FAMILIES  -  ECS Learning Model Options

A: Oldham County Schools is committed to providing meaningful opportunities for families to participate in the special education process. Whether in-person, by phone or videoconference, IEP teams will partner with families to determine the most practical format to conduct IEP meetings.

A: All students attending OCS Virtual Learning Academy will have access to many accommodations that naturally occur in the virtual setting.  Additional accommodations may be provided per a student’s IEP or Section 504 Plan if the accommodations are applicable to the online educational environment. 

MORE SPECIAL EDUCATION FAQs


HEALTH AND SAFETY

A: When the school becomes aware of a positive COVID-19 test result through self-reporting or notification by the Oldham County Health Department, parents will be notified if their child has been exposed.

A: People sharing a living space are considered to have “close contact.” Therefore, a student or staff member must self-quarantine if a family member has tested positive for COVID-19.

A: We will be taking temperatures of every student as they enter the school. Parents are also required to check their child's temperature before sending them to school every morning.

A: A student with a new persistent dry cough will be sent to see the school nurse who will assess them. If the school nurse can definitively determine that the cough is attributable to a condition other than COVID-19 (by talking with the student’s pediatrician, for example), the student will be allowed to remain in school. If the school nurse cannot rule out COVID-19 as the cause for the cough, the student will be sent home and advised to contact their pediatrician or the Oldham County Health Department. School nurses will not be diagnosing students with COVID-19 or any other illness. At this time, sneezing is not a recognized symptom of COVID-19 in children. 

A: If we become aware that a student or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, the school will notify all families whose students had exposure to the person having a positive test. Please note that “exposure” alone does not require quarantine. The OC Health Department will conduct contact tracing to determine if any students had “close contact” with the person who tested positive, and will assess whether they are at low, medium, or high risk of contracting the coronavirus. Please know that there may be a lag in time between receiving the notice and receiving contact by the Health Department. There will be flexibility for parents to keep their child home during this period of time if the parent is concerned about them returning to the classroom. The Health Department will provide direction on whether to monitor, get tested, or quarantine after they complete their contact tracing. 

A: There is no state or local threshold for closing a particular school or the entire district. A decision to close will be made based on student and teacher attendance data. This is the process the district follows to determine whether to close for outbreaks of the flu and other related illnesses. In addition, the district may decide to close in the event of rampant community spread. The district will consult with the Oldham County Health Department to ascertain whether maintaining in-person classes is a contributor to the community-wide spread.

MASKS

A: All students (K-12) must wear face coverings unless they have a medical exception or disability that would prevent them from wearing a face covering. Per the KDE's "Healthy at School Guidance," updated on August 31, 2020, The use of cloth face coverings (masks) should be required by all students and staff at all times while in the building or on the bus, unless medically waivered. Students and staff should only lower their masks while actively eating or drinking or when outdoors and socially distanced.

A: Schools will have a supply of extra masks for those who forget or lose their mask.

A: Per OCBE policy, all students in grades K-12 must wear a face covering while on school buses, in school buildings, or participating in school activities, except for those exempt due to medical conditions or disabilities. If a student refuses, they will be isolated for the remainder of the school day. If a student continually refuses to wear a mask, school administrators will inform parents and make a recommendation to the superintendent to place the student in the Virtual Learning Academy.

A: Governor Beshear's July 10 Executive Order applies to all students older than 5 years old. Some of our kindergarteners will be six, and some will be five. For consistency in the classroom, all kindergartners will be required to wear masks. Second, for consistency within schools and on buses. Because kindergartners ride the bus with students in other grades, and attend school with students in other grades, it is safer for all students to wear masks.

A: A face shield alone is not permitted as an acceptable face covering. Students may wear a face shield with a face covering if they choose to do so. Gaiters and bandanas are acceptable face coverings. In order to provide a sufficient level of protection, face coverings must have at least two-layers. Masks with vents are not allowed.

A: Masks are required and wearing them will be enforced. Only students or staff with a medical condition or disability may be exempt.

A: The district is preparing a form for parents to have completed and signed by their pediatrician or treating physician. The form will be available on the district’s website after July 21st.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

A: In many school settings students will be socially distanced to the extent possible. At the elementary school level, where social distancing will be extremely difficult, students will spend most of the school day interacting only with students in their class. By limiting their exposure to a small number of students, we reduce the chance of infection. And if a student becomes ill, the immediate class is affected, not the entire school.

A: Classroom layouts will be changed to maximize distance and square foot usage, including removing all soft “non-sanitizable” furnishing, decluttering rooms and facing students uniformly, where feasible.

SANITIZING CLASSROOMS & EQUIPMENT

A: Keeping surfaces clean will be a team effort in OCS. Maintenance workers and school custodians will clean frequently touched surfaces throughout the day and conduct overall cleanings at the conclusion of every day. All other staff members will be expected to do their part keeping surfaces clean, and will be provided spray bottles and microfiber cloths for additional cleaning. Teachers will have access to cleaning supplies for their classroom.

A: Playground equipment use and drinking fountains will be permitted, with enhanced cleaning and sanitization.


CAFETERIA SAFETY / FOOD SERVICE

A: A variety of meal service methods will be utilized based on the individual facility needs or requirements that will enable all students to have access to program meals. Meal service methods may include:

Serving Grab and Go meals in the cafeteria

Serving Grab and Go meals in classrooms

Serving meals in other areas in the building.

A: Yes, students can bring lunch from home. How that looks will be on a school by school, classroom by classroom basis. There may be some restrictions on what you can bring in a lunch based on student allergies. Principals usually make the call on the site level as to what they allow and do not allow to be brought in per their wellness plan. Do not bring peanut butter or nut-based ingredients. 

Students are also encouraged to bring their own water bottles.

A: Lunch schedules will be created on a school-by-school basis. Snacks are allowed during the school day based on individual school policies. These policies and practices are being reevaluated at each school site. 

A: Extended lunch periods, assigned seating, floor markings and defined foot traffic patterns are practices that schools will be utilizing to limit exposure. Each school and age group will require a different combination of these solutions specific to that environment and the students served. 

Meals will be served in a non-congregate setting that allows social distancing contact tracing guidelines to be followed. Disposable containers and utensils will be used to serve students Grab and Go meals. Share tables and any sharing of food will not be allowed. 

A: Meals (breakfast and lunch) will be made available to all students enrolled in the district VLA program. Grab and Go meals will be at no cost through December 31,2020. Meals will be able to be picked up for children enrolled in Virtual Academy at specified locations. There will be more information provided as we work out the details. At this time we do not plan on delivering meals, but are working on plans for alternative pick-up locations and times. More information to come.


TRANSPORTATION SAFETY

A: Buses will be sprayed down with disinfectant cleaner between each run.  Masks will be required on all bus runs. Attendance is to be kept for each run and seating charts are mandatory. 

A: Hand sanitizer will be provided on buses for students to use while loading. 

A: Parents will be responsible for completing a daily student health assessment prior to the student boarding the bus. Students should not board the bus if showing / experiencing any COVID symptoms.

A: Students will be required to wear a mask unless doing so will compromise the health and safety of the student. Students without a mask will be socially distanced at the front of the bus.