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Return-to-Learn Frequently Asked Questions

Updated July 22, 2020 | This page will be updated as additional information becomes available.

The questions below represent the most common questions received regarding the beginning of the school year. We know that there will continue to be additional questions as we navigate these times and appreciate your patience as we work through them.

We hope this information provides families with the information needed to make the best decision for their family as the school year begins.

LEARNING OPTION SELECTION AND ASSIGNMENT

How do I select either the hybrid or fully online option?
Families will receive a message from the district using ParentSquare, giving parents/guardians the option to select either the hybrid or fully online option for each student. Directions will be provided in the message shared with families.

Can I select a different learning option for different children?
Yes, parents/guardians will select a learning option for each child, and they may be different.

Will each student in a family be assigned on the same day?
Yes, once a learning method is selected by families, students choosing the hybrid learning model will be assigned to an A or B attendance group, with all students in the primary household assigned to the same group.

What if I am assigned a group, but then wish to request a change?
When group assignments are shared with families choosing the hybrid option, there will also be instructions for how to request a change of groups. The district will review these requests on a case-by-case basis and will make every effort to accommodate requests for changes, although changes cannot be guaranteed.

Can I change between the hybrid and fully online model?
In order to adequately staff each option, families selecting the fully online option will be asked to commit to a trimester at the elementary and middle school levels, and for a semester at the high school level. Due to academic continuity, requests to change from the hybrid model to the online-only model during the committed trimester/semester are discouraged and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Any students needing a change in delivery model during the committed trimester/semester due to a documented medical condition will be allowed to change delivery options as outlined in their medical documentation. NOTE: Should the district’s overall delivery model change due to a change in COVID-19 conditions, opportunities and the process for changes will be determined at that time.

My child already knows their teacher, will that change?
Students selecting the fully online program will be assigned to a district teacher that is specifically working with students in the fully online program. This teacher is unlikely to be the student’s assigned classroom teacher. In the hybrid program, the district will make every attempt to keep students in the classes they were assigned to. At the same time, staffing will be dependent on the learning options selected by families and may be modified in order to assure appropriate staffing across the district.

Will students eligible for special education and/or English Language Learner (ELL) support receive those services?
Yes, all students eligible to receive special education and/or English Language Learner support will receive those services. Individualized Education Plan (IEP) teams will continue to meet and develop student-specific supports in special education. ELL teachers will also work directly with students and families to support their specific learning needs.

HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS FOR HYBRID LEARNING

Will there be temperature screenings?
Students and staff are asked to self-monitor temperatures daily. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher, or if showing any other signs of illness, should not attend school. A no-cost digital thermometer will be provided to families to support daily temperature screening.

Will face coverings be required?
Yes, face coverings will be required for students and staff throughout the school day. According to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and public health experts, face coverings are a key tool in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Each student will be provided a no-cost face mask and neck gaiter from the district. Families are also welcome to provide masks for their own student(s) if they prefer.

What happens if an individual in a school tests positive for COVID-19, who will be notified, and who will be required to quarantine for 14-days? When will a school or the district close due to COVID-19?
The Iowa Department of Education has informed school districts that guidance regarding adjustments of school operations will be provided to districts the first week of August. Following is information from the latest Iowa Department of Education guidance:

Decisions on when to temporarily move to primary remote learning for an entire building or district because of public health conditions will be done in consultation with the Department of Public Health.

The Iowa Department of Education and the Department of Public Health are developing additional guidance to help schools manage virus activity when positive cases are identified among students, teachers or staff. This additional guidance will be provided in early August and will inform schools what to do regarding quarantining students and teachers, or when determining whether to close a classroom or school building.

In addition to information about what to do regarding the quarantining of students/staff, school districts are required to receive approval from the Iowa Department of Education, in consultation with the Iowa Department of Public Health, in order to move an entire school or district to remote learning.

Will school buses provide transportation to school?
Yes. The hybrid model will allow for increased social distancing on school buses to be accomplished given the smaller number of students attending each day. All buses will be deep cleaned nightly. Students will be required to wear face coverings while on the school bus, hand sanitizer will be available, seats will be assigned and windows will be down unless it is raining, based on the recommendation of public health experts. As always, families may choose to arrange their own transportation to and from school at any time.

How will social distancing work in school?
The reduced number of students in school each day will allow for classrooms to be set-up in a socially distanced way, with desks/seats six feet apart. There will be no large group gatherings and any small group settings will be arranged in a way that maintains at least six feet between participants. Passing times/traffic flow in buildings will be reduced or adjusted to reduce congregation, whenever possible and based on the needs of the building.

How will meal service work?
All food service staff members will follow personal protective and food safety guidelines required for food service operations. At all school levels, meal seating will be socially distanced and will utilize alternate spaces if needed. Cafeteria capacity will be limited and physical distancing will remain in place. Serving lines and lunch times will be adjusted to reduce congregation, based on the needs of each building.

Are facility cleaning protocols being enhanced?
Yes. Custodians will conduct a deep cleaning of each school nightly using hospital-grade disinfectant that can have a residual effect of up to 24 hours. Custodians will also increase the frequency of daytime cleaning of common-touch surfaces including handrails, door handles, etc., using hospital-grade disinfectant. Buildings and grounds staff will work to maintain adequate inventory of building cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment, and will regularly inspect ventilation and air handling systems to ensure normal operation.

DELIVERY OF HYBRID LEARNING

Will students be provided with technology to support learning in the hybrid model?
Yes. Middle and high school students are already provided a district-issued device to support learning through the district’s Anytime, Anywhere Learning Initiative, which will be used to support at-home learning. The district is awaiting the arrival of an additional 1,900 elementary devices, which were ordered a number of months ago but have been delayed due to global supply-chain delays. When those devices arrive, each elementary student will be provided a device to support at-home learning. A limited number of internet hotspots are available for checkout by family for students without reliable internet connectivity.

What will the IN-PERSON day look like for elementary-school students?
While in school, the focus will be on providing students direct instruction and support in core subject areas. As they normally would in a classroom setting, teachers will maximize time to teach, reteach, give feedback to students and assess learning standards. Each day, before students go home, teachers will provide instructions and items needed for the at-home learning day.

What will the AT-HOME day look like for elementary-school students?
The at-home day for elementary students will consist of activities and work assigned by the teacher to continue a student’s progress toward meeting their learning standards. Some of this work may have already been part of the school day, but could be completed without direct instruction. This will include a combination of learning activities, such as: ST Math online program, Lexia online reading program, self-guided reading, activities/worksheets that reinforce in-class work, inquiry and writing projects, science projects and social studies research. At-home work is designed to keep students moving toward their learning targets and will be tailored to the grade level of the student.

How will attendance be determined for elementary students on at-home days?
Recognizing that students and families will require flexibility in completing school work on at-home days, a student will be considered in attendance by logging into Clever that calendar day before 11:59 p.m. They are also expected to complete all at-home assignments before the next in-person day, unless instructed otherwise from the teacher.

What will the IN-PERSON day look like for middle/high-school students?
While in school, the focus will be on maximizing teacher time with a combination of direct instruction, socially distanced discussion, labs and group work, in-depth learning with teacher support, and creating quality learning relationships between students and teachers.

What will the AT-HOME day look like for middle/high-school students?
During at-home learning days, students will have assigned independent learning exploration, class projects and research that supports content literacy and mastery. All work will be aligned with the course expectations and learning targets.

How will attendance be determined for middle/high-school students on at-home days?
Recognizing that students and families will require flexibility in completing school work on at-home days, a student will be considered in attendance by logging into Canvas that calendar day before 11:59 p.m. They are also expected to complete all at-home assignments before the next in-person day, unless instructed otherwise from the teacher.

Will students in the hybrid program have specialist classes (art, music, wellness)?
Yes. Elementary school and middle school students will have delivery of specialist classes with modifications of content delivery to ensure the safety of staff and students.

DELIVERY OF FULLY ONLINE LEARNING

Will students be provided with technology to participate in the fully online learning model?
Yes. Middle and high school students are already provided a district-issued device to support learning through the district’s Anytime, Anywhere Learning Initiative. Each elementary student participating in online learning will also be provided with a district-issued device to support learning. A limited number of internet hotspots are available for checkout by family for students without reliable internet connectivity.

Do students remain students of their school and the Dubuque Community School District if they participate in fully online learning?
Yes. Students will remain Dubuque Community School District students and their school at all times. At the high school level, all credits are granted by the district.

What will the fully online program consist of for elementary-school students?
Students in the fully online program at the elementary school level will be assigned a district teacher who will conduct their instruction. This format will utilize a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (on demand) learning. In particular, this method will utilize Clever, the online system that provides access to district-supported electronic curriculum tools as well as resources provided by classroom teachers; Seesaw, the learning management tool that houses
student lessons and assignments from teachers; and Zoom, the video conferencing tool used to support synchronous (live) class interactions and lessons.

What will the fully online program consist of for middle-school students?
Middle school students will utilize the online Edgenuity platform to support online coursework that best aligns with the student’s schedule. During this learning, middle school students in fully online coursework will be assigned a district teacher advisor who will help monitor course progress, serve as a resource for the student and be in regular contact to ensure that the student is progressing and meeting course goals.

VIEW A LIST OF EDGENUITY COURSES

What will the fully online program consist of for high-school students?
High school students will utilize the online Edgenuity platform to support online coursework. Edgenuity includes hundreds of course opportunities and each high school student in the fully online program will work with the school to develop a schedule of classes that meets their individual needs and best aligns with the schedule they previously selected. During the course, all high school students in fully online coursework will be assigned a district high school teacher who will help monitor course progress, serve as a resource for the student and be in regular contact to ensure that the student is progressing and meeting course goals.

VIEW A LIST OF EDGENUITY COURSES

How will attendance be determined in the fully online program?
Recognizing that students and families will require flexibility in completing school work on at-home days, a student will be considered in attendance by logging into Clever (at the elementary level) or Edgenuity (at the secondary level) each school day before 11:59 p.m.

Will students in the fully online program have specialist classes (art, music, wellness)?
Yes. Elementary school students will receive learning in specialist areas as part of the fully online program. Middle school students will have delivery of select specialist content through Edgenuity.