COVID-19 » COVID-19 Information » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

During the planning process for the 2020-2021 school opening, parents and guardians have asked many questions.  This FAQ site (Frequently Asked Questions) was created, and will continue to be updated, in an effort to keep our school community informed of our progress.  Check this page on our web site regularly for new questions and answers. Don't forget to also check out the "Parent Communication" link located in the right-hand column for a record of all communication we have sent out during this pandemic.
 
For each question below, click on the question in order to read the response(s).
 
 
Yes, all students will be required to wear a face mask at all times while in school.  Students riding MTPS buses to and from school will also be required to wear a face covering.  Staff are required to wear a face covering at all times per “The Road Back” document provided by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE).
 
 
All children will be required to wear a face mask or gaiter as described in #1 above.  In some cases where there are health concerns or special needs that would prevent wearing a face covering, an accommodation can be made with proper documentation.  These special situations will be handled on a case by case basis.  A child IS permitted to wear both a face covering AND a face shield if the parent and/or child desires.
 
 
Yes, the district will be implementing consistent “A” days and “B” days with 50% of the students in school on any given day. These days will always be the same each week. One day of the week (Wednesdays) will alternate between A and B days every other week.
 
 
The district is making every effort to ensure that students from the same household are on the SAME A/B day schedule if the hybrid option was selected.
 
 
    1. Provides critical time for teachers to prepare high quality. asynchronous/synchronous lessons and virtual assignments.
    2. Provides additional time for teachers to receive professional development on best practices for remote learning.
    3. Provides staff time to reflect, review, and revise both instruction and building safety procedures.
    4. Assistants will be available for small groups or 1:1 virtual support in the afternoon.
    5. Eliminates large group gatherings like lunch and recess.
 
 
No, to further limit student to student interaction all after-school activities and sports are cancelled until January 2021, unless state authorities direct a full return to in-person learning with buildings at full capacity.
 
 
Yes, on July 20 the governor announced that school districts will be required to provide a 100% remote learning option. A new survey to poll parents on their preferred option was sent to parents on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. You may select the 100% remote option by taking this important survey.
 
 
Yes, all children in grades K through 8th grade will receive a chromebook to take back and forth to school daily. Currently, all 2nd through 8th grade students have chromebooks to use. Chromebooks for kindergarten and first grade students have been ordered. Those devices may not arrive by the start of school. However, we are making contingency plans should the devices for K and 1st grade students not arrive in time for the start of school.
 
 
The district Educational Technology Coordinator, Technology Coach and Technology Teachers are creating professional development training for teachers to improve the quality of their virtual teaching.  Training will be provided before school starts, while school is in session (in the afternoons), and on an as needed basis.
 
 
Students on 100% remote instruction will have more live lessons than during the school closure last year.  This includes whole class lessons and small group teaching.  Recorded lessons will also play a role.  Students who select the hybrid option will have live “office hours” and/or small group instruction.  This will be less than the 100% remote students because teachers will be conducting in-person classes all morning.
 
 
Yes, we plan to set clear expectations for teachers so that there is consistency for the amount of live instruction, pre-recorded instruction, live office hours, grading, etc.
 
 
Our goal is to teach the full curriculum. However, due to the learning slowdown caused by remote learning last year, pacing guides are being adjusted to address this loss of learning. Based on this, we anticipate it taking more than just one school year to make up for this learning slowdown.
 
 
As mentioned above, pacing guides are being adjusted to address this issue.  Additionally, students will be screened in reading, writing, and math to determine where their skills are.  Remedial instruction will be provided to address these needs.
 
 
Yes, although some will be virtual and some will be in-person.
 
 
Teachers will be required to have daily live “office hours” to answer student and parent questions.
 
 
All IEPs and 504 Plans will be implemented to the greatest extent possible. Special education programs listed in the individual’s IEP will be provided in the documented setting, but following the A/B hybrid learning schedule. Related services (speech, OT, PT, etc.) will be provided using both in person and distance learning models.
 
 
Yes, our supervisor of operations and custodial staff are confident that they can keep up with the cleaning needs in the building with the A/B schedule.  Among other benefits, students being on an early dismissal schedule will provide custodians with additional time to sanitize and disinfect spaces.
 
 
  • Contact Tracing will begin immediately.
    • Contact tracing is the process used to identify those individuals who come into contact with people who have tested positive for a contagious disease.
    • Upon notification that staff or student has tested positive for COVID-19, the School Nurse will work with the local DOH to provide information to the DOH. This will include the schedule, attendance records, and person to person contact information of staff/students who were exposed by being with the individual within six feet for at least 15 minutes. Identified individuals may also include siblings.
    • FERPA permits disclosure of personally identifiable information in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. The Nurse must record and maintain the disclosure information and significant threat in each student/staff record.
    • Should notification occur after school hours, students and staff will be sent to an alternative location upon arrival at school until they can be picked up by a responsible adult.

  • All rooms used by the individual testing positive will be closed for 48 hours. After 24 hours the room can be cleaned and disinfected, as per the procedures set forth by the Facilities Director and according to CDC guidelines. If applicable, this includes a bus before it can be put back in service.
  • A letter will be sent to the parents/guardians of all students in the class, notifying them of the situation. Every attempt will be made to move the students to another room so in person learning can continue. If this is not possible, students will transition to remote instruction. Students on the child’s bus, if applicable, will also receive notification. If necessary, students will be moved to another bus. Confidentiality will be maintained.
  • Additional notification will be provided to those who have had close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) to the person diagnosed with COVID-19, based on the results of contact tracing. This notification will direct the individual to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 calendar days. Distance learning instruction, if applicable, will be provided. Confidentiality will be maintained.
  • The individual who has tested positive may not attend school for at least 10 calendar days from the first onset of symptoms. The student must also be fever free without medication for the previous 24 hours and the majority of symptoms must be resolved. Distance learning instruction may be provided while the child is quarantined.
  • The School Nurse will require appropriate documentation (i.e., negative test results or note from the staff/student’s physician certifying the individual is contagion free) before readmitting to school.
  • If a household member is confirmed positive for COVID-19, the staff/student will be excluded from school for 14 calendar days.
 
 
State guidelines for reopening discourage large group gatherings (lunch in cafeteria and recess). Social distancing guidelines require 6 feet distancing between students and staff. It is impossible to honor either of those requirements when buildings are at full capacity (all students in-person). To provide appropriate social distancing, an A day/B day hybrid schedule becomes necessary. In this model, 50% of students attend in-person learning each day and 50% receive remote instruction each day. This format enables appropriate social distancing. However, teachers must straddle the demands of in-person teaching AND remote teaching. In order to do both jobs well, additional time is needed for teachers to prepare quality synchronous/asynchronous lessons for their remote students. It will also provide additional time for teachers to receive professional development on best practices for remote learning. Staff will have time to reflect, review, and revise both instruction and building safety procedures. An early dismissal schedule will also allow teachers to touch base and offer support to students on their non-attending day.
 
 
The early dismissal schedule helps custodians by giving them more time with students out of the building to thoroughly clean and sanitize daily. An “off” day is not needed to accomplish this task. Instructionally, the model described in the question above means students will not see their teacher for up to 5 days. For example, if students are in on Monday and Tuesday, they would not see their teacher in person for 5 days (the following Monday). Same with the Thursday/Friday group. The district felt that’s too long for students to be on remote learning. With the model being implemented, students see their teacher in person more regularly so instructional continuity will be stronger. There are usually only 2-3 days in between in-person learning except when there is a school closure for a holiday. There are also weeks when students will see their teacher on consecutive days. We felt this was better educationally.
 
 
We are attempting to provide this information to parents on or before August 14.
 
 
Students must stay in the model selected to start the school year until at least the end of the first marking period (November 10 for elementary schools and November 16 for middle school). Parents must notify their child’s principal at least 15 days prior to the start of the new marking period if such a switch is being requested.
 
 
Students in a 100% remote model will be receiving some live instruction in whole group and small group formats via Google Meet. There will also be asynchronous instruction.
 
 
The New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) “The Road Back” document requires 6 feet of social distancing in classrooms. Over 80% of parents selected the hybrid learning model. With that percentage of students returning to school, classrooms could not accommodate social distancing meeting the NJDOE requirement. Thus, students had to be split into the A/B cohorts so that appropriate social distancing could be achieved.
 
 
Yes, students will change classrooms at the end of each period. Schedules are staggered to reduce the number of students in the hallways. As students enter the new classroom, they will receive an EPA approved sanitizing wipe (for hard surfaces) to wipe down their own desk before using it.