CLARK, NJ - But what if...? When will....? What happens next? The questions directed at the Clark Board of Education and Superintendent Ed Grande have been rolling into the school district since the release of the school's reopening plan on Tuesday. According to a message from Grande, the feedback has been helpful, and he thanked the community for sharing it.
In response to the questions, the district has put together an evolving Q&A document for parents, students and guardians. Grande said this document is just the beginning and will be populated with more information on an ongoing basis as it becomes available or if other questions are raised. Those interested, can check out the details here.
The first full list of Q&A provided by the Clark Public Schools follows:
Question: When will the “bell” schedules and the assignment of students to the a.m. versus p.m. sessions be sent out?
Answer: That information will be sent from the individual schools during the first week of August. Each school’s start time of the a.m. session will be similar to the start time of a more typical school day while the end time of the p.m. session will be similar to the end time of a more typical day. All content areas will be taught but for reduced times.
Question: When will a.m. versus p.m. students complete their remote work?
Answer: Since the students will be meeting in-person with their teachers daily, this remote work will take the form of more typical “homework.” As a result, there is flexibility in terms of when these assignments are completed as long as they are done prior to their due dates.
Question: When will bus times be released?
Answer: These times will be sent towards the later part of August. However, once you know your child’s assignment to either the a.m. or p.m. session and the school’s “bell” schedule, the bus times will be spaced around the school’s start and end times similarly to how they more typically would be.
Question: What will busing for athletics look like?
Answer: Due to a lack of social distancing on the buses, our student athletes will be required to wear face coverings. Bus seats will be disinfected prior to students boarding the vehicle, and windows on the bus will remain open depending on appropriate weather conditions.
Question: What will the district’s full remote learning option look like?
Answer: Being that the State just recently released these guidelines, we are in the process of developing this option. These details, including the length of time that the student must remain in this option, will be released as soon as possible.
Question: How will related services be provided?
Answer: OT and PT, due to their physical natures, will be delivered during the in-person time while speech therapy will be delivered remotely to a.m. students in the p.m. and p.m. students in the a.m.
Question: When will students be required to wear face coverings?
Answer: Face coverings will be required whenever social distancing cannot be maintained. There will be times when such a need will exist while our students are in their classrooms. However, such coverings will be required at arrival/dismissal each day and while in the hallways and restrooms.
Question: What will the cleaning/disinfecting schedule look like and what products will be used?
Answer: Our restrooms and such touch points as door knobs and railings will be disinfected on an ongoing basis throughout the school day. Any student desks used during both the a.m. and p.m. sessions will be disinfected in between sessions. Our disinfectant dispensers will be refilled and such supplies as paper towels in the restrooms will be replenished as needed. Products on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) disinfectants list, e.g., TruShot, TB-CIDEQUAT, and NABC, will be used.
Question: Will there be physical education classes and recess?
Answer: Physical education classes will be held. Students will not be able to opt out due to the State requirement. With that being said, the needed adjustments will be made, e.g., spacing of students and low exertion activities. Recess, however, will not take place since there will be no accompanying lunch period.
Question: Will the needed adjustments be made for students who need to be out of school for an extended period of time either due to personal illness or a quarantine?
Answer: Yes, we will seek to accommodate these students through the remote learning option (as stated above, the details are forthcoming) during such time.
Question: Can the individual choice to quarantine be made when notified of a positive COVID-19 case?
Answer: Yes, and flexibility will be shown in that case with the attendance policy. In addition to the notification letter being sent from the school, the local Health Department will be conducting the needed contact tracing.
Question: Why are temperatures not being taken daily upon arrival?
Answer: The daily taking of temperatures is not practical with the number of students and the limited time upon their arrival to do so. Having parents/guardians more carefully check their children for the various COVID-19 symptoms that extend beyond having a fever is a stronger safeguard for our school community.
Question: Will my child be able to return to school if he/she has a fever but does not undergo any prescribed treatment?
Answer: Yes, but, in this case for which a physician’s note is not provided, ten days from the first appearance of the fever will need to have passed.
Question: Is air quality in the buildings an issue?
Answer: Our maintenance of the HVAC units throughout the district is a key factor to healthy air flow and circulation.
Question: Can middle and high school students remain in the same classrooms all day?
Answer: Due to the different levels of classes and unique student schedules, this arrangement would be virtually impossible.
Question: When will students be able to seek additional help from their teachers?
Answer: As more typically would be the case, students (and their parents in the case of our younger students) will make these arrangements with the individual teachers.
Question: How will the schedule for UCVTS students (full-time and shared-time) look?
Answer: These students have been in our mind throughout the planning process. We are awaiting needed information from UCVTS and then ALJ will communicate with the involved parents/guardians.