Frequently Asked Questions on a Blended Learning Environment
1. What is a blended learning model?
A blended learning model allows students to alternate from in-person learning to virtual learning. Furthermore, this type of model enables school districts to put all recommended health and safety measures in place, such as social distancing.
2. How often and how long will students be receiving in-person instruction?
We continue to gather feedback from our community on our exact model. With that said, we are tentatively working on plans for an A/B schedule which will require students to attend in-person learning on alternating days.
3. Will siblings be assigned on the same day?
Yes, all of our plans will allow siblings to attend all schools within our district on the same day.
4. How are you going to ensure that you meet the requirement of IEPs for students with special needs?
A Safe Return Workgroup comprised of general and special education administrators and educators will be meeting to ensure that accommodations are accounted for all students within the instructional plan.
5. Will I be able to choose different options for each of my children?
Yes. Once our district’s instructional plan for 2020-21 is in place, parents will have the opportunity to make individual selections for each child.
6. Will students be distanced from one another?
The placement of teacher and student desks will adhere to the social distancing requirements of seating students six feet apart. The physical arrangement of the classrooms will be unique to each space.
7. Will teachers and students be required to wear masks? For what length of time? How will additional precautions be monitored?
Requirements and guidance for students to wear masks continues to evolve. Based on current guidance from the NJDOE, students will be required to wear masks when they cannot be socially distanced.
8. How will students’ social-emotional health be supported?
The social-emotional well being of our staff and students is a top priority. Supports will be integrated into lessons in a variety of ways, resources will be available for staff, students, and parents in need, with mental health screening procedures implemented as necessary.
9. Will students receive live virtual instruction?
In the event our schools are fully virtual, all students will receive some form of daily live instruction. Students participating in a blended learning model while at home will have the opportunity to join their classrooms and may have opportunities to participate in live learning activities, but it is in the best interest of staff and students to focus on high-quality instruction in a face-to-face environment when in-person instruction is scheduled.
10. If I choose virtual learning for my child will he/she be able to return to school?
Choosing virtual instruction for a child will not preclude a child from participating in live instruction once a parent/guardian deems it a safe time to return. Accommodations to original plans may need to be adjusted to ensure the safety of all students and staff.
11. If I choose virtual learning for my child will he/she be able to participate in extracurricular activities?
Choosing virtual instruction for a child will not preclude a child from participating in extracurricular activities. While decisions concerning the safe operation of extracurricular programming are yet to be determined, parents may need to arrange for transportation to and from activities.
12. Will students be expected to participate in virtual learning on scheduled in-person days?
Generally, students will not be expected to participate in virtual learning while spending time in school for in-person instruction. However, depending upon individual schedules and levels, there may be requirements to complete activities for specific classes online to adhere to guidelines set forth by the NJ Department of Education.
13. What will Physical Education classes look like?
Guidelines from the NJDOE establish that equipment cannot be shared between students, and social distancing should be maintained. A Safe Return Workgroup that includes administrators and physical education educators will meet to develop a comprehensive plan for the safe execution of physical education courses.
14. Will there be recess?
The NJDOE currently has not changed the requirements for recess. We will incorporate the required amount of time for recess while in-person learning is taking place. A schedule will be created by all elementary building principals ensuring that social distancing is taking place and the proper sanitizing of equipment is possible.
15. How will buses accommodate the social distancing requirements?
A blended-learning model will provide our community with a transportation schedule that allows us to assign fewer students to our buses. However, many of our routes may not meet requirements in cases such as that, students will be required to wear face coverings.
16. What is an A/B Blended Learning model?
An A/B schedule will provide students with alternating days of in-person and virtual instruction.
17. How will schools be cleaned and sanitized?
Daily cleaning will continue, and will include disinfection of touch points both in common areas and classrooms (touch points include but are not limited to, light switches, door handles, pencil sharpeners, desk/table/counter tops, water fountains, bathroom fixtures, paper/soap/sanitizer dispensers, railings, etc.). The LEHSD custodial staff will be following a Covid-19 cleaning protocol as recommended by the CDC, NJ DOE, NJ DOH, as well as the manufacturer and supplier of our disinfectants and cleaning agents. LEHSD will continue to consider and investigate alternative disinfection agents, evaluate the efficacy of the overall cleaning and disinfection program, increase routine inspections, quality control efforts, and focus on providing safe and clean facilities during this unprecedented health crisis in our county and state.
18. Why can students not attend school five days a week?
We are looking forward to the time we can welcome all of our students back to school. However, at this time, the requirements from the NJDOE do not allow us to move forward with this model.