Questions and Answers As We Return To Learn at Stratford Landing

By Kevin Morris
Principal's Corner
July 13, 2020

Over the past two weeks Stratford Landing held two Town Halls focused on returning to school in FCPS. Our PTA collected questions from our community. Some families emailed the school with specific questions. Here is a comprehensive list of questions asked by our community. I'm hopeful these answers help guide your decision to enroll your student in online or in-person learning for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Philosophy, County Decisions - Questions

It would be helpful to understand why instruction (synchronous and asynchronous) is limited to 4 days, rather than 5 days? I understand that teachers that are doing in person teaching are only doing in person teaching, so it’s not clear why a whole day is needed every week for lesson planning, when that was not done prior to COVID.

For the virtual learning option, why is it only 2.5 to 3.5 hours per day of instruction versus the 6 if you choose the 2 days in-person option?

Is the goal to get all students back into the building for learning?

Why don’t we know the numbers of teachers in each setting? Can you please share teachers that have requested online and in-person? Number of students attending either setting?

Philosophy, County Decisions - Answers

For the 2020-2021 School Year, we are creating two instructional programs, online and in-person; this has never been done before

This demand will require additional time and efforts for our teaching staff

Traditional master schedules offer common planning time to teachers (IE, all fourth graders go to specials at the same time and grade level teachers can plan together); with new social distancing guidelines this will not be possible; this could impact planning time throughout the week for teachers

The designated Monday is not just planning time for teachers; it is also additional intervention time to work with specific students

For online learning, screen time for students, especially younger students, was a concern when creating scheduling expectations

Our goal is to return to full time in-person learning for all students, however, current CDC and health guidelines do not recommend schools return to full capacity at this time; FCPS will continue to monitor situations and make decisions in accordance with appropriate health guidelines.

We are not sharing specific numbers at this time because families and staff may change their decision up until July 15 – I’ve noticed 37 families that have changed their responses; additionally sharing specific teacher choices could inadvertently reveal personal or medical information that a teacher would want to keep confidential.

Attendance and Scheduling - Questions 

Are siblings considered when choosing which two days in person learning will take place?

Can I choose the two days my child attends in-person learning?

With the in-person option, what is the deadline to request students attend on specific days?

Will in-person school hours be bumped much later because of transportation and health-screening bottlenecks?

What will be the time of in-person school? Of Virtual school? Do we have an idea about school hours for those that are going to school 2 days a week?

How much say does the principal/individual school have in determining school start time? When will that information be released? If more people opt to drive, will this impact the decision to have school from 10-5?

Attendance and Scheduling - Answers 

Student attendance schedules will be assigned alphabetically; if last names differ, we will work with families to make sure siblings are enrolled on the same days; additional considerations may be made to create balanced classes

It will not be possible nor equitable to honor every individual family request given the strict capacity issues for classrooms and buses; we will work with families as much as possible

Students will attend in-person either T/TH or W/F

After the July 15 deadline, we will begin student scheduling at SLES and will try to communicate with families as soon as possible the in-person schedules for families; this may take several weeks

Bell schedules for in-person and online learning schedules have not been determined at this time; SLES will follow the bell schedule that is provided by FCPS - that time will not be adjusted

Family Decision Making - Questions

If we sign up for virtual classes would if be okay if my son passed by the school during recess to play outside?

If you pick all virtual and things improve will there ever be an opportunity during the school year to return to school or are you locked in the virtual no matter what for the full year?

If you choose two days in person and then become uncomfortable with the health risks can you switch to virtual?

If we choose in person but numbers increase or we no longer feel comfortable sending our kids how do we change our mind?

Will there be provision for families to shift during the year to the all virtual option should the health situation in their families significantly change?

Is it possible for us to return to Stratford Landing for in person class in the middle of the school year or spring if we decide to homeschool for the fall/winter (or do we need to commit to a whole year of homeschooling?)

What if we choose the in-school option and then for some reason can not or choose not to send our student, either a family member is exposed/becomes sick or we decide we aren't comfortable after all?

Family Decision Making - Answers

FCPS is asking families to commit to a full year, either online or in-person

Because of scheduling and class size guidelines, it would be very challenging to continuously update and change groupings based on family requests

Online students would not be permitted to participate in recess or other in-person activities; vice-versa for in-person students

We would like to collaborate with teachers on ways that online and in-person students might have opportunities to engage with one another

If student or family circumstances change, we can address these on an individual basis; we want to work and partner with families as special needs arise throughout the school year

If conditions improve with the management of Covid-19, FCPS will reassess online and in-person operations

In-Person Learning Details - Questions 

Will there be specials and recess? What will it look like?

Are specials going away?

Will there be outdoor breaks? Opportunities for more physical time?

I need a clearer understanding of what a typical in-school day look like, for grades K-3.  Will there be recess? Outdoor time? Specials?  If not, what will be done to break-up the day in developmentally appropriate and yet socially distant ways?

Our children have suffered from a lack of regular physical activity, which they are far more likely to do with other kids around. Can our WONDERFUL P.E. teachers teach large, outdoor, socially-distant "workout" classes on the fields (weather permitting) on a regular basis?

How will recess be handled? What use will be made of the outdoors? (I’m concerned about 7 hours indoors, both in terms of virus spread, and in terms of young children needing to move their bodies and burn off energy.)

Can the PTA help buy or rent a tent that would increase SLES classroom space--even if it was just used for specials?

Will Monday intervention be online or in-person?

Are there any guidelines for the instructional days that teachers will follow? Work be collected? That is the non-school days for those that pick in-school.

Will kids attending in-person school be provided additional work or TEXTBOOKS to be able to work on the off days?

In-Person Learning Details - Answers

All courses and programs required under the Standards of Learning will be guaranteed in both online and in-school options (this includes our Specials classes – PE, Art, Music, etc.)

We will schedule 30 minutes of recess on days students attend school; further guidance on use of playground equipment and other social distancing conditions will be forthcoming

To the greatest extent possible, the school day will look like previous years (specials, lunch, breaks, etc.)

We will look at creating a master schedule that promotes student and staff safety and health; for example, increasing transition time, decreasing the amount of students in hallways at a given time, providing time to model and practice good hygiene practices, providing outdoor breaks, promoting movement and physical activity,  (utilizing courtyards, Discovery Garden, etc.)

We are still awaiting guidance from FCPS regarding Band, Strings and Chorus

We are looking (as a school/partnering with PTA) to purchase outside canopies to support outdoor learning opportunities

The current expectation is that Monday intervention for select students will be delivered in-person to students (online for virtual students)

Teachers will share expectations for turning in and completing work (in both online and in-person settings); we will provide students necessary resources to be successful when they are not learning in school

Student/Staff Safety and Health- Questions 

Will students be required to wear masks? What is developmentally appropriate? Will students wear masks all day?

What are the repercussions if a student refuses to wear a mask even though it is developmentally appropriate?

Will there be masks breaks in school or will they be on all day? How will teachers discipline children if they refuse to wear their masks? It says that children will eat in classrooms when possible... will that mean that sometimes they will eat facing one another in the cafeteria?

Will there be increased cleaning in areas like bathrooms? Will there be actual circles taped on the floor around their desks to reinforce the 6 foot rule? Thank you!

What will social distancing look like in the classroom? The models the school board provide show desks lined up 6 feet apart facing forward. Stratford has tables. What is Stratford’s plan to seat students?

Some of the Kinder classes don't have windows that open, will those classrooms be used?

What happens if a student does not social distance on a regular basis in the classroom? How will that be handled?

I’m thinking of the challenge of one teacher managing to keep 12 - 15 first graders socially distant. In the primary grades, educators have moved away from “desks-facing-in-the-same-direction” modes of instruction, to emphasize developmentally appropriate, hands-on, cooperative, interactive learning.

Will students be able to wear face shields instead of masks? I wonder if face shields will a) be more comfortable to wear all day, b) create less demand that students are touching their faces frequently to adjust the mask and c) allow teachers to read children's facial expressions more easily.

Will students in the classroom have to keep masks on if desks are spaced 3 or 6 feet apart while learning is occurring?

Is there a sanitization plan between groups of students? In other words, will you clean the building thoroughly after the first group of students leave and before the next enter?

Re in-class teaching, knowing how difficult it is to clearly understand when somebody is speaking while wearing a mask, how would the teacher (& students) be able to overcome this challenge?

Can face shields be purchased for the full class through parent donations if the school cannot provide?

How will the teachers monitor social distancing? what is the consequence if in-person children do not follow the rules?

Is it true that that the Supt. is now saying the there will only be 3' between students, not the initial 6' and that desks will not be sanitized between classes.  He's also back tracking on temp. checks. How is this safe?

What about AC, HVACs and ventilation!?

Who is going to validate that the cleaning protocols are being carried out? What kind of validation will there be by the administration that the custodians are actually sanitizing all surfaces, especially high traffic areas which need to be sanitized frequently per CDC guidelines?

What happens when a child comes to school with a cough? How will we be assured that child is COVID-free? Will they be allowed to come back to school without a negative test result?

Will students and staff complete health screenings daily?

So how many students are we looking at per classroom? Also will students be 3' apart OR 6' at these tables?  

What happens when a student needs to take a break - where is there space in the classroom? what about outside the classroom as directed under Responsive Classroom? What does flexible seating look like in our new environment?

With smaller classes, is it likely that an IA will be in the classrooms to assist teachers with helping students maintaining physical distance and mask wearing ?

Student/Staff Safety and Health - Answers 

Our goal will be to have all students, grades K-6, wear face coverings (either masks or face shields); we will work with individual students and families when this does not occur; masks will not be a discipline issue, rather a health and safety issue  

There will be mask breaks and outside learning opportunities when possible

We will work with students and families when students do not adhere to social distancing; additional guidance will be forthcoming from the FCPS for these specific situations

The importance of face masks, social distancing and hygiene practices will become part of our social curriculum, routines and procedures; we must help students understand the “why” behind everything we are doing to keep all of us safe and healthy; we need to build their independence to behave safely and hygienically; we are asking families to partner with us as well

We are looking at placing 2 students, one at each end (length-wise) at our tables in our classroom; we are looking into purchasing (as a school/partnering with PTA) plexi-glass guards that will divide each table in the middle; this plan is under review. If needed, tables will be replaced with desks 

We are looking into purchasing (as a school/partnering with PTA) PPE for students and staff; face masks and face shields; hopefully with SLES logos J

We are devising a plan to increase cleaning protocols during the school day

Our current infrastructure of SMART BOARDS have a microphone option for teachers, and we are exploring this to help with teacher voice and sound while wearing PPE

We are looking at purchasing (as a school/partnering with PTA) increased student safety signage in the building, floor tape, directional and distance expectations, etc.)

There is currently no directive from FCPS or CDC stating not to use classrooms without windows

FCPS. has convened a work group to determine the best way to screen students and staff each day. FCPS continues to work closely with the Fairfax County Health Department and Virginia Department of Health to develop a screening tool. The screening tool may include temperature checks.

There will not be a requirement for COVID-19 testing for staff and students in in-person instruction.

The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) will complete a contact investigation of individuals with confirmed cases. FCPS will act in accordance to the findings of the FCHD investigations as it relates to quarantine individuals, closing a particular class or a school. 

Fairfax County Health Department will initiate an in-school investigation on positive results. They will follow CDC and VDH guidance to identify those staff or students who may have been in contact with a COVID-19 positive individual. They will begin with individuals who were within six feet of the individual for greater than 15 minutes. 

The 3ft guidance shared with principals requires the use of masks; SLES will work to adhere to 6ft as much as possible

FCPS follows CDC and Virginia Health Department guidance to reduce the risk for exposure to coronavirus. Schools are designed to ventilate outdoor air throughout the day to reduce the buildup of pollutants and odors. Maintenance staff conduct routine and preventative maintenance on all mechanical, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems – including replacing air filters.  Custodians and operating engineers conduct building checks to identify areas of concern (ex. - checking exhaust fans in restrooms for proper operation).  In areas where an indoor air quality concern is identified we use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to enhance air cleaning.  FCPS works closely with the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) to communicate the latest health information with our staff and community to better prepare for returning to school.

Our building supervisor will ensure cleaning protocols are implemented; we are looking at the possibility of increasing custodial staff during the school day; SLES administration as well as our Region 3 Building Monitor will also ensure cleaning protocols are implemented

SLES will determine an isolation room where a student will remain, supervised, until a parent or caregiver is able to pick the child up from school; staff supervising the student will be provided appropriate PPE and additional steps, such as plexiglass and sneeze guards and sanitation protocols will be in in place to ensure the safety of staff and comfort of student

Families and school staff will be required to complete a health screener at home prior to coming to school. The Fairfax County Health Department has approved screening questions that will be shared with staff and families. Schools will require all staff and families to complete a one-time commitment to screen for health concerns daily.

Most classrooms will have between 12-15 students; our current table set-up provides for 3 ft of separation, which is why we are looking into plexiglass dividers and will promote a mask culture; this current plan is under review

Measurement of classroom tables 30 x 54 -  K-2 have 7 tables and 3-6 have 8 tables per classroom.

We will involve all staff to help support our mask and social distancing culture and teach our students health and safety citizenship

Parent Building Access, Visitation and Arrival and Dismissal – Questions

Will school drop off be kiss and ride style for kindergarten or will parents be able to walk their students to their rooms?

Will parent volunteers be permitted?

Will parents be able to meet with teachers on-site?

Can I have lunch with my student?

What will office hours be? Can I have access to the school like in previous years?

How will arrival and dismissal be different?

Parent Building Access, Visitation and Arrival and Dismissal – Answers 

Along with other schools, SLES will be implementing a no visitation policy (at least to begin the school year)

Parents will not be permitted to walk their child to class

We will be revising arrival and dismissal procedures and likely ask families to designate a meeting location off-site; we will not permit families to congregate in front of the building; when possible, kiss and ride is encouraged

We are asking for parent conferences to be phone calls / virtual (at least for the first few months of school); we want to mitigate exposure for all! 

Parents will not be permitted to have lunch with their child

We will ask families to make appointments with the office prior to entering the building; unannounced visits will be discouraged and possibly not honored

We will examine parent volunteers (for academic reasons) once the school year begins, however it is unlikely we will offer this option

Online Learning Details - Questions 

Is the school participating in the pilot program Schoology starting this school year? If so, how would it be incorporated in the curriculum? Will we be a school testing Schoology? If there are still problems with the platform will teachers be allowed to choose which platform works best for them? Will we still be limited to BBCU?

Will virtual learning students be taught by Stratford teachers? If we choose online learning, will our children have a teacher from SLES?

If we opt-in to distance learning, when can we expect to receive a daily schedule, and who is responsible for developing it? Will SLES staff be teaching my child? Will the SLES Administration be managing my child’s teacher?

Will online classes be taught by FCPS teachers as well?

What would a typical all-virtual school day look like? The information says that there will be 2.5 - 3.5 hours of synchronous instruction, but that includes whole group, small group, and individual.

Can the teachers for virtual learning be from ANY school within FCPS rather than my student seeing a familiar teacher from SLES?

How much synchronous instruction will an individual child average per day? Will there be synchronous instruction in art, music, PE, and other “specials”?

How will distance learning be improved?

How will One Stratford work if some distance learning students are in classes taught by non-SLES teachers?

Online Learning Details – Answers  

SLES will not be participating in the Schoology pilot; we will be using the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU) platform for online learning, schoolwide, K-6; we will also use Google Classroom and Blackboard 24/7 for our Learning Management System (LMS)

One of the primary goals in the FCPS Reopening School Plan is to provide students with choice in learning format (in-person or online). The default rule will be to have students receive instruction at their base schools (either in-person or online). In select instances where student preferences cannot be met at their base schools, we may explore coordinating scheduling across schools in the division. However, no definitive plans have been developed for this yet and any decision to move forward with this approach would only be taken after the first phase of base school scheduling has been completed.  

We have not received directives from FCPS how this will be determined, nor a timeline of communication for families 

Schedules for online learning at SLES will be developed by our staff and available later in August 2020. A typical online school day will include whole group, small group and one-one-one learning opportunities. PE, Art, Music and STEAM will be available to online students.

Professional development of teachers will occur this summer to strengthen online learning; additional software and resources will be available such as Imagine Learning for language arts; expectations will be created for online instruction look fors; consistency across the grade level of instructional delivery

If, in the event, our students work with non SLES teachers, we will partner with those teachers; We will follow FCPS provided curriculum, as will other schools

Class Sizes, Online and In-Person – Questions

Will there be a limit on the size of DL classes (esp for elementary school students)? What will be approximate class size for the virtual school?

How many K students will be in a virtual class?

Will there be a cap on the class size for virtual learning?

How many students can the school accommodate per day based on the health safety and social distancing guidelines?

What will be the maximum number of students in a classroom?

Will there be a limit on the size of DL classes (esp for elementary school students)?

Is there a possibility of combining more than one class for virtual learning? I heard that at another school they had 2 classes combined for their virtual learning so that there were 2 teachers in the “room” in case one teacher lost internet or had to log off for any reason. That put the class sizes between 40-50 students. Hoping that won’t be the case for us.

Class Sizes, Online and In-Person – Answers

Classroom capacity is determined by a square footage formula; in most instances we will be looking 12-15 students per classroom on any given day; in some instances we may be able to bring those numbers down based on enrollment at each grade level

Online class sizes have not been determined at this time; students would still have opportunities to engage in smaller settings online via office hours and other identification support (IE, ESOL, Special Education, Speech, Level II / III AAP, etc.) 

FCPS is in communication with VDOE to clarify what flexibility to the standards of quality and K-3 Class Size Initiative may be available for online class sizes from the state level. Additionally, FCPS is currently exploring proposed revisions to Regulation 1302 that would raise online class maximums to align with state guidelines.

Academics – Questions

What will be the standard/expectation regarding how much coursework will be covered in the upcoming school year?

What improvements will be made to distance learning?

Will the All Virtual learning program have a standardized online learning materials (provided by fcps) or will that be developed by each individual teacher? In spring, the level of materials varied from teacher to teacher. How will it be different in the fall?

How does work submission and testing work with the virtual schooling option?

Regarding Blackboard and Google Classroom, is there going to be a "standard" virtual delivery with which teachers will use to have a consistency of presented instruction?

Will the online and in-person curriculum be the same?

Will work be graded and required?

Will academics begin immediately upon school starting, or will there be a 6-week delay as in previous years (with Responsive Classroom)?

Due to increased reliance on online learning, what new additional programs/apps/online tools will SLES be adding as resources for teachers and students to use at home to aide with learning?

Will there be a non-screen simplified learning packet/workbook available as an alternative to hours of screen-based activities?

Academics – Answers 

FCPS will provide teachers with streamlined curriculum guidance and resources that recognize the impact of school closures on all students, potential content gaps, and readiness for new curriculum.

Students participating in online learning will take assessments and submit work to teachers 

FCPS is currently revising curriculum guidance to teachers to address the current teaching and learning conditions.  It is expected that all students enrolled in the same grade level/course will learn the same identified essential standards during SY2020-2021. There will be learning tasks that take different forms due to students learning in a variety of settings: in-person, at home direct/synchronous instruction,  and independent/asynchronous instruction but the expected outcome will be the same. 

Currently, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will require Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments; If waivers become available, FCPS will apply

We will still implement the First Six Weeks of School(Responsive Classroom) a workgroup of teachers will revise this implementation plan to balance academics and social/emotional learning; a primary goal in both the online and in-person settings will be building relationships and setting up learning routines and procedures; academics are important as is equally important the social, emotional well-being of all our students – now more than ever, really!

It is important to remember that the Distance Learning provided from March-June 2020 was considered a “Crisis Response”

We expect many improvements in online learning, including additional professional development for teachers to support learning in this environment, a more consistent approach with instructional delivery from all teachers, clearly identified learning targets, use of assessments, and increased synchronous learning

SLES staff will spend July and August planning for online instructional delivery; FCPS will be offering new curriculum and additional resources to support online learning

Some SLES staff are participating in an ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference this week to gain additional resources and provide turn around training to staff; FCPS Instructional Services department are identifying additional resources, such as Imagine Learning and ST Math (county-wide) to support learners

As a SLES staff we will explore and implement non-screen time options for learning

Asynchronous Learning – Questions

For the younger grades, can mandatory homework or projects be included for non-school hours?

How will students receive work for the 2-days independent study (asynchronous)? Will teacher be available for “office hours” during the 2-day independent study (asynchronous)?

What are examples of the type of "learning" provided to students on the off days (while not attending in person school?). Is this work required and graded?

Regarding the asynchronous portion of the in-school option: How much asynchronous learning time would be provided for, for the two “at home” days? Will it be integrated with the in-school teaching, or will it be designed separately at a district level? What kind of instruction will be provided? Will it simply be assignments and independent work, or will there be non-screen-based instructional materials (textbooks, commercially produced workbooks, guides to support parents in hands-on activities, etc.)?  

If we choose in person - what will provided to do on the 2 “off” days?

What does the independent study look like for younger grades (specifically 1 and 3)? Worksheets uploaded to Blackboard, pages sent home on school days, recommended time on ST Math, MyON, other?

What type of work or expectations will students have on their days not in the classroom if they choose in person?

Asynchronous Learning – Answers

Asynchronous learning (independent study) will be aligned to instruction in the online and in-person setting; essentially, this will be the new “homework”; time students spend working asynchrony will vary

Additionally, these will be resources that reinforce concepts and provide extra practice, such as ST Math

Asynchronous resources may include special projects, worksheets, online learning, prepared videos, etc.; we will use Blackboard 24/7 and Google Classroom to house many of these resources, similar to distance learning this spring; teachers may communicate these resources via email

FCPS is purchasing additional learning software to support students during independent study 

Our online and in-person teachers will collaborate and create these resources together

New curriculum resources are being developed centrally and will be shared with schools and teachers; professional development for teachers this summer will address creating and monitoring asynchronous resources

Although we are still awaiting additional language and direction from FCPS, these activities will be required

Advanced Academics – Questions

How will AAP work be given with online courses? How will the AAP program operate under each of the two options?

What will AAP level 4 instruction look like for the in person 2x ? And if we choose to homeschool this year, does she need to reapply for level 4 the following year?

AAP/Cogat Testing: I have a seines grader. If we choose the online option, will she be able to take the CoGat for AAP placement in 3rd grade? What about the algebra test in Gr 6?

For students in the Level IV AAP program, who were expected to finish 3rd and half of 4th grade math during the last school year while in grade 3, and likely did not, what will be the goal of the pacing and content for the upcoming school year?

Given the amount of AAP classes of 4th graders at SLES, if there are more kids selecting online distance learning than the set # of in-school classes w/dedicated teacher, will there be an option for those that selected classroom learning to attend more than 2 days and even if that means a different teacher?

My children are AAP Level-4. Will they be placed with AAP children in the class no matter in face-to-face format or virtual format?

Will level 3 AAP be accommodated? How will it work?

Regarding the full-time online option, will students receiving AAP Level IV services be placed in a combined class or only with students eligible to receive Level IV services?

Our daughter entering first grade qualified for AAP Level 2 services. How will that work in a virtual setting? Thanks in advance!

Will Advanced Math be available for 5th grade this year?

Advanced Academics – Answers

Advanced academic services and Local Level IV services will continue and be available both online and in-person

All teachers will continue to implement AAP lessons, activities, resources and curriculum in their instruction for all students

Class make up, both online and in-person, will be determined by student enrollment online and in-person, as well as staffing availability online and in-person; it is unknown at this time if a class will be compromised solely of Level IV students; however, PLAN A is for exclusive Level IV classes; peer learning groups will guide our class placement decisions

No directives have been given regarding CogAT testing and IAAT (Gr 6 Algebra Test)

We are still planning on offering advanced math in-person; we are hopeful to offer online, however, that will be determined by staffing availability and student enrollment

We will receive additional guidance, support and resources from the Advanced Academic Office to support online and in-person learning 

Special Education / Special Services – Questions 

My child sees an independent speech therapist because his speech needs were discovered at the beginning of the pandemic. If we choose to send him virtual, will he still be eligible to be evaluated for an IEP and if so, how will IEP services such as speech be offered virtually?

My child was currently under evaluation for special education. If I choose online learning, will my child be able to continue the evaluation? 

What is the protocol for families who need to apply for an IEP for their child for the coming school year?

Can you further address how students with IEPs and special needs will receive the support they need this coming school year? Will parents know that plan prior to the school year starting so they can plan accordingly?

Special Education / Special Services - Answers

Students working in an online setting would be eligible for special education evaluation; special education services will be available in an online setting.

Testing has begun this week in summer clinic. Families will be contacted by summer clinic staff based on the chronological order of when the testing was proposed/consented to. There are safety measures in place for the tester and student (i.e. plexiglass, mask, gloves, disinfecting between sessions, etc.). However, since evaluations are being set up by order of when the testing was proposed/consented to families should keep in mind that we are starting with cases from before closure (i.e. December/January) and working forward from there.

Parents of students enrolled in virtual instruction will be offered the option to bring their child into their base school for an in-person evaluation. If they are not comfortable doing so, the evaluation process will primarily focus on gathering data from behavior rating scales, interviews with the student’s parents and teachers, and the student’s response to intervention. Some direct assessments may be able to be conducted remotely. Virtual observations may be conducted when needed, with the understanding that additional data will be required to determine and describe a student’s performance when observations are conducted outside of a student’s typical learning environment.

Monday intervention (in-person and online) will be available for special education students; in-person services will continue as in previous years; online services will be available in synchronous settings (SPED teacher with the Gen Ed teacher); additional office hours to address IEP goals will be available for special education students; some special programs may not be available in an online setting 

Communication – Questions

In either scenario, will parents receive a summary of what the child/class is/should be learning each week?

Can time be built in for monthly parent/teacher meetings? Will parents be given class curriculum so we can assist teacher’s efforts during the 2 days asynchronous learning?

Will there be a standard of communication (from SLES ... not necessarily from FCPS) that parents of children with IEPs and 504s will receive?

Communication – Answers 

SLES will continue the expectation of weekly emails to families (online and in-person) to communicate learning expectations

We will ensure standard communication with our families that have students with IEPs and 504s

Parent Support / PTA – Questions

Will there be schedules or curriculum for parents to use during non school hours?

Will the school or PTA build a support system for working parents? Mainly, best practices when attempting to work and provide educational support.

How can the SLES community help desperate or low-income families that may not have resources to buy supplies or supplemental learning?

Can our PTA work to help families organize into study pods, where families who have kids taking in-person classes on the same days get a small group of students together for a couple of hours on the asynchronous days to study together? Can we come up with a list of tutors that could help? Can we work with our local libraries to have tutors host study halls in their large conference rooms, where students could sign up for 30-minute blocks of help?

Given that in past years each family is asked to donate clorox wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, etc. is there a plan for how the school will stock up these items?

Can parents have access to the pacing guide/syllabus used in each subject of virtual learning?

Can students that are learning online access recordings of class sessions rather than attend live to support parenting schedules?

Parent Support / PTA – Answers

Our new PTA board is eager to being this school year and provide supports to our community.

We will look for opportunities that teachers and parents can collaborate, and set up opportunities for parents to collaborate with one another to support their student(s) at home

We will be collaborating with our PTA board on initiatives and additional ways the PTA can support the health and safety of our students and teachers

Families are encouraged to support one another whenever possible; creative solutions are welcomed

Emergency Responses – Questions

If we opt for in person learning and Covid causes a transition to virtual only(ie cases rises and brick and mortar must close again) is there a plan in place that will enable a seamless transition?

How will the in-person teachers be prepared and equipped to be able to shift to online instruction at a moment’s notice?

If we select the at school option (2 days in and 2-3 days asynchronous) and there is a situation (such as a COVID outbreak or state closes schools) that necessitates the closing of the school, then what is the distance learning plan?

If a family chooses in-person instruction, how quickly will the teachers be ready to teach and provide the same level of instruction virtually if conditions worsen or the school is forced to close?

It is highly likely that at some point in the year, there will be at least temporary transitions to all-virtual education. How will that transition be handled so that it can be seamless and without additional disruption to our children’s schedules and routines?

If conditions decline, how will virtual learning look for students who choose in-person? Will it be the same as the 4 day virtual schedule or some modified 2 day schedule?

Emergency Responses – Answers

If schools were to close due to an increase in Covid-19 infections in our area, we would likely return to Distance Learning for all students

We have not received specific guidance on this plan from FCPS

At SLES, we will build a contingency plan that is also aligned to FCPS expectations if we were to return to all students in an online setting to mitigate any loss of learning or delay in online learning for all students; we know so much more about distance learning than we did in March 2020 and we are confident in our ability to move all students back into an online learning setting; this will likely be at least 4 days of online learning for every student.

If schools were to close due to an increase in Covid-19 infections in our area, we would likely return to Distance Learning for all students

We have not received specific guidance on this plan from FCPS

At SLES, we will build a contingency plan that is also aligned to FCPS expectations if we were to return to all students in an online setting to mitigate any loss of learning or delay in online learning for all students; we know so much more about distance learning than we did in March 2020 and we are confident in our ability to move all students back into an online learning setting; this will likely be at least 4 days of online learning for every student.

Kindergarten Jump Start – Questions

Will Kindergarten Jump Start be offered?

Will kindergarten Jump Start be offered virtually or in-person?

Kindergarten Jump Start – Answers

We would still like to host a Kindergarten Jump Start; if we are able to offer in-person we will do so

We will offer a virtual option for families choosing online

If an in-person option is unavailable, we are hopeful to plan an online option for all rising K students

Questions and Answers from SLES Town Hall, July 13 

Will students wear masks for recess and pe?

Yes, students will wear masks during PE, especially inside. If students feel overheated or having trouble with their mask, we will encourage teachers to communicate this with their teacher and we can provide a mask break in a safe space. Recess, when appropriately socially distanced, could be an opportunity for a mask break. During the summer our staff will collaborate around mask expectations and mask breaks for students.

What quarantine protocols/policies/steps are in place if a student/teacher is tested positive for coronovirus? Especially if they have been in contact with others in the school.

The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) will complete a contact investigation of individuals with confirmed cases. FCPS will act in accordance to the findings of the FCHD investigations as it relates to quarantine individuals, closing a particular class or a school.

Fairfax County Health Department will initiate an in-school investigation on positive results. They will follow CDC and VDH guidance to identify those staff or students who may have been in contact with a COVID-19 positive individual. They will begin with individuals who were within six feet of the individual for greater than 15 minutes.

If the students are in person and then need to be virtual due to health conditions 1) will they follow the same days/curriculum as those students that went virtual the entire time? 2) will they have the same teacher as they did in in person learning?

We have no direction from FCPS at this time. SLES will work on our contingency plan if we need to return to a 100% online learning environment for students and staff. We will follow additional guidelines FCPS communicates in the event schools close and we return to distance learning.

If my student should be assigned to a non SLES teacher, how will I know which PTA to support? Will I receive school information from both SLES and the other school?

If this occurs, we will work with individual families to ensure they are supported and receive appropriate communication.

If Gov. Northam closes schools BEFORE the start date, will distance learning revert to base school? Meaning the kids will be in the classes they were originally placed in for a normal fall return? Or are we stuck [after July 15 regardless of a closure] with either the 2 day or virtual only option we choose?

We have not received direction or language from FCPS if this were to occur. We will follow FCPS expectations and guidelines. It would be reasonable to assume with all staff and students working online we would see a similar situation that we did during Distance Learning, March – June, 2020. Teachers and staff will still have ample time to collaborate and plan for instruction and we would see improvements in online learning.  

I want clarity on advanced Math, as I understand advanced Math is only for in person not online. Is that the plan?

No. Our goal is to provide all programs and services both online and in-person. Additional planning and problem solving will be needed to offer Advanced Math online. No determination has been made to remove the advanced math option from the online setting.

If FCPS is not requiring daily in-school temperature checks for students, is this something Stratford could decide to do for an added safety measure?

Stratford Landing will follow FCPS and Region 3 guidelines and expectations regarding health and safety screenings for students and staff.

Will text books/ workbooks be provided for online-only students?

We will review appropriate resources to provide students online (non-screen resources). It has not been determined if FCPS will supply learning packets again. 

What are the percentages for in person and distance learning this far for SLES?

SLES is not sharing this information with the community because information is changing, and in many instances, families have changed their mind and changed their response, either online or in-person. We do have more families choosing in-person learning.

Will virtual students be able to be assessed/access IEP services, such as speech?

Yes. Students in full-time online learning will receive their services through the online format either in small group or one-on-one as appropriate for the students’ needs.  FCPS is considering offering in-person related services to students in the online environment on Mondays during intervention time as determined by the IEP team.

Is there a preference for face masks versus face shields? Trying to get prepared....

Either is appropriate.

Can you please clarify: am I understanding that there could be a situation where full time AAP is available in person but NOT online? If a level 4 AAP student attending FT virtual ends up in a class that is not only AAP, how would that work/look? Do the AAP students then default to GenEd instruction? How would the teacher handle instruction with the mixture of GenEd and AAP?

Full time AAP (Level IV services) will be available online. Level IV eligible students will work with Level IV curriculum.  This does not require that students be scheduled with only other Level IV eligible students. We will consider peer groupings when creating online (and in-person) classes. In both Gen Ed and AAP settings, teachers differentiate, scaffold and meet the needs of all learners. This would not change in a situation where AAP students and Gen Ed students are working together. Level IV curriculum and AAP resources, activities and lessons and content would drive instruction.

Will in person students have the same teachers during their in person and virtual days? Or will the in-school teachers be teaching both cohorts of students?

We will make this determination once we have a sense of enrollment, however, we will likely have self-contained classrooms (meaning 1 general education or AAP teacher for the school day). Students may still travel to specials teachers, such as Art and PE. In-person students will not work directly with a teacher on the days they are not in school.