Reopening Plan FAQs

Will all students have the opportunity to participate in remote instruction?

Yes, this is a parents option. We will be distributing a registration form to all families, asking which option they are choosing (in person or remote) as well as if they will be utilizing the district provided transportation.

How are cohorts of students being organized?

At the ES level we are beginning with the class and teacher lists that have been developed. Once we learn how many students will be participating remotely we may have a virtual only class(es) and redistribute the students attending in person. Kindergarten will be done after the initial screenings (9/14-9/16). Grades 6-12 will be done by alphabet to keep siblings together based on the students attending in person to create cohorts of students.

What is Standards Based Instruction?

Standards-Based Instruction is the foundational way of building curriculum that starts with the standards in mind. Rather than focus on a resource or an assessment, the instructional designer starts with the standards their students need to reach, and builds instruction towards students’ mastery of those standards. The standards, in this case, become the learning targets.  These are also often called learning objectives, learning intentions, goals, etc.  The standards are at the core of every instructional design, and we work backwards to design differentiated instruction that leads students to mastery of those standards.

What is Standards Based Assessment/Grading?

Traditional instruction is calendar driven or resource driven, where standards-based instruction is rooted in assessments and data that show us how much mastery of a standard a student has gained. Grades are a means of feedback to students to convey their performance against a standard. SBG (Standards-Based Grading) is a means of grading students based on their performance against standards. Instead of a simple letter, students receive grades in multiple different learning targets and can see which concepts they understood well and which they need to improve on.Standards-based grading provides explanations of the concepts and material that students should know at each point in their education.

Will the food program continue for remote instruction?

Yes, eligible students will receive meals if they are full remote or hybrid.

If you choose in person instruction, do you have to make the semester commitment?

No, if you change your mind remote instruction can begin once coordination with teacher(s) is made.

During remote instruction will my child’s IEP be followed?

Yes, we will fulfill the IEP in either situation.

How will remote instruction be delivered?

Students will utilize their Chromebook and watch live via Google Meet. Teachers will post materials in the Google Classroom and work will be submitted the same way. Students learning remotely will still receive required textbooks and materials.

Will there be a band and chorus?

NYS is requiring 12ft of distance between students participating in band or chorus. We do not have the space to provide these opportunities during the pandemic. We are trying to work out a virtual situation, but at this time we are not certain we can pull this off.

How are you taking care of CTE or PE requirements?

CTE requirements at the ES will be embedded in the core instruction as well as providing pre recorded lessons twice per week. At the MS/HS, Family and Consumer Sciences will be offered as a stand alone class and art and tech will be embedded in the core curriculum. PE will be provided throughout the day in both locations as part of breaks.

Is this school plan for the entire school year?

We will be following all the guidelines and requirements of NYS. Until the 6ft social distancing requirements change we have to follow this configuration. We will constantly monitor our implementation of this plan and will modify it as necessary to improve the quality of instruction and support we are providing students.

Why does a family have to make a time commitment to remote instruction?

We are basing our staffing patterns and cohort distributions on the number of students present. We need flexibility in doing this, having students commit for trimester or semester will allow us the flexibility to adapt if the number of in person students changes drastically.

What are the quarantine protocols?

We are currently working with all schools in our county and the Department of Health so that we all follow the same medical and safety protocols put in place. As of now we do not have the specific protocols for the various scenarios but we will prior to beginning the school year.

Why are students in grades 9-12 transitioning to classes?

Given the nature of scheduling and classes offered it is nearly impossible to cohort students.

Will students continue to receive numeric grades in MS & HS?

Yes

Will 4th and 5th graders be separated from the older students?

Yes. The younger students classrooms are not near the older students. They will have separate bus runs. Restroom usage is based on classroom location. In addition, our faculty and hallway monitors will be using radios to coordinate restroom usage for all students. The only scenario we foresee the possibility of exchange is in one of the health rooms. In this situation there will be full supervision and therefore do not expect any issues.

If we elect for in person schooling but my child is home sick or quarantined, will he be able to access the remote learning?

Yes, whether it is one child or we are in a quarantine situation, instruction will continue with students participating at home.

If a child leaves school sick with a COVID-19 symptom, will they be required to have a negative COVID-19 test before they return?

No, they need to be symptom free for 72 continuous hours.

Will the allowed absence totals increase as a consequence of the 72 hour symptoms free requirement? Would a student be able to work remote during this 72 hours so not all days are recorded as absences?

We will be providing the necessary flexibility during this time. In addition, students are eligible to work remotely via Google Meet.

Will there be any discipline for not  social distancing and wearing face coverings?

Students not following the health and safety guidelines will learn remotely.

Will there be any education explaining COVID-19 and/or counseling throughout the school year to ensure they are Coping from all of the changes?

Yes, we are embedding social and emotional well being into our regular school programming which includes dialogue about handling the pandemic.

Why is the school day only 5 hours? Instead of 6 for ES and 6hrs 25 min for Jr/Sr HS?

In order to be in compliance with all of the social distancing requirements we need to maximize our physical space. In order to do this, we require an all hands on deck approach to classroom instruction. We are utilizing specials teachers to partner with regular education teachers K-6. At the HS level we are eliminating all study halls, thereby reducing the school day. All teaching faculty will teach their contractual minutes, maximizing instruction time. In addition, due to the social distancing requirements on the bus, we now require 3 bus runs. We have to consider the length of the work day for our transportation team. Due to these factors, the State Education had the foresight to provide districts with flexibility regarding the hourly requirements for the school day.

Will remote learners follow a specific schedule or meet time or will they be required to login all day?

Remote learners will follow the exact schedule as if they were in school

My fifth grader has an IEP, but will now be at the Middle School, how will that work as far as him being with the same teachers?

We are creating schedules to accommodate all IEP’s- I cannot speak to the teacher assignments at this time

Will Kindergarten and 1st grade have recess?

No recess, there will be movement and Brain Breaks throughout the day

Can children talk to each other?

Yes, socialization will be promoted

Can students use manipulatives?

Yes

How many students in 6th grade?

110 students (four sections broken into two classrooms each, for a total of 8 classrooms)

Proposed schedule for sports?

As of today, NYSPHSAA has postponed start of Fall season by 1 month (9/21/20)

Will staff be sitting down as a group to develop priority standards?

Yes- I would like to acknowledge the MTA (Mechanicville Teacher Association) as the members have worked tirelessly to master these concepts. We had Professional Development beginning at the end of March and went straight to the end of June, with our team of faculty participating roughly in 5 hours a week of PD in a variety of areas, but focusing on social emotional learning and the standard based instruction and assessment model. In addition, we had two half-day trainings on June 29 and June 30 where 64 Mechanicville educators participated. Ms. Sabattiino, Assistant Superintendent for School Improvement has PD days scheduled in August with teams of faculty to continue this work

Will remote learners be watching their classroom live?

This will depend on the number of students selecting to learn remotely; the option would be to have a stand-alone virtual classroom

Intervention block, how is that going to be done if AIS teachers are co-teaching with the diverse students in a room?

Every one of our Mechanicville Teachers will be able to implement AIS services

Do you feel confident Mechanicville would be able to sustain this platform for a year?

If necessary, yes

What is the grading system for High School students?

Transfer all grades to a numerical/traditional grade (1-100)

Will there be intervention challenges for students that are not behind?

Standards based  instruction benefit- personalized for each learner          

Will Positivity Project be an elective every year?

From a K-12 perspective the Positivity Project is classroom-based instruction that happens 15 minutes per day- may very well be a graduation requirement for positive psychology at the high school in the future.

Are children expected to clean-up after themselves in the bathroom?

Students will be responsible for personal hygiene.  Custodial cleaners will be cleaning high touch surfaces frequently throughout the day.

What do Breaks look like?

10-15 minutes- may consist of jumping jacks, toe touches, yoga stretches (at desk)

Will there be lunch options?

If there is an allergy- there will always be an alternative. Not certain if there will be options for everyone.

If we must shut down completely, what does that look like?

This is the plan, in-person or remote learning.

Will Mechanicville Community Center be available if we are in a full shut down?

Not sure of their regulations, but would most likely be case by case

Has the Positivity Project program always been here?  Will there be an opportunity for one on one? Where would they be located?

P2 is new to Mechanicville this year, there will be opportunity for one on one if necessary and we have office spaces for them to use

If K-3 is split into two adjacent classes, how do you decide who gets the teacher?

 Teaching faculty will have time to co-plan and get additional training if necessary. In some cases, it may be the main teacher going back and forth.

Will teachers be responsible for helping with arrival and dismissal of students?

We will continue to partner and work on all these details with input from MTA

How come Social Studies and Science are not on the elementary sample schedules?

Social and Science will be infused in- not a stand-alone block

If sports is canceled, will there be an opportunity for players and coaches to engage on a social emotional standpoint?

Many coaches are beginning to reach out now to check on players

How will virtual- Band look?

Not exactly sure, we will communicate as soon as we know

If there is a spike in Covid-19 cases, what do we do?

We will be working closely with Saratoga County DOH regarding certain metrics, certain quarantining for cases in our school. If the Capital Region spikes, we will then follow the order of the Governor.

What intervention services are available for my fifth grader as a remote learner?

We recently purchased iReady, which is an online program and supports the student to provide additional instruction information to the teacher regarding deficits the student has.

Is sports still a possibility in January?

This will all be determined through the state, possibly a condensed program from January-June.

If this plan must be submitted to NYS by 7/31, when will we know if it has been approved?

We anticipate our plan will be approved, as it met all the guidance requirements