Frequently Asked Questions – Reopening 2020

General | Hybrid learning| Virtual learning | Special Education | Social-Emotional Supports | Daily/Weekly Schedule | Cleaning/health & safety protocols | Technology | High School | Middle School | Intermediate School | Primary School | Kindergarten Center | Athletics

General

When is opening day for students? Is this the same at all buildings and for the Virtual students?

Opening Day for students has recently been moved to Sept. 14 for all buildings and for our Virtual Academy students as well. 

When will I find out who my child’s teacher is? When will I know what my child’s schedule is?

Schedules, teachers, and homerooms were mailed Friday, Aug. 28. We acknowledge this is later than normal and are grateful for your patience as we re-imagine school.

Will students need to get school supplies?

Yes, when we mail out teacher and homeroom information, you should hear from your teachers around the same time.

Do all children need to ride the bus? Can I still pick up and drop off my students?

No, however, procedures for drop-off and pick up times will be very specific this year because of safety considerations.  We cannot accommodate groups of students before or after school. Please see the building-specific schedule for details.

Will students still receive breakfast and lunch like in past years? What about breakfast and lunch on school days we are not in the building?

Yes, absolutely! Students will still receive breakfast and lunch regardless of their learning choice. Because the logistics of serving meals in our current situation, the meal received will be predetermined. On days when students are remote in the hybrid model, or in the Virtual Academy, meals can be picked up at various school locations.

Will there be extracurricular activities and sports?

Governor Cuomo has given his permission for schools across New York state to begin planning participation in athletic programs starting on Sept. 21. Some sports have been given the go-ahead for limited play, while others are only permitted to practice.  As per the governor’s guidance, football contests will not be permitted and we don’t know yet about volleyball or gymnastics.  We must await decisions from Section II to finalize regulations for the fall season.  This is the final determinant regarding how and when we might move forward on Sept. 21.  

In addition, principals are also planning to have further details about our extracurriculars using Sept. 21 as our “lookback” date. Our stance is: if we can run it safely we lean yes. 

When will temperatures be taken? What if I forget to take my child’s temperature in the morning?

It will be the family’s responsibility to take your child’s temperature in the morning before school. We will be rolling out an app for you to complete a very brief screener, confirming temperature and addressing symptoms. Should you forget, we will screen the student as they arrive. CHECK: As students arrive at school, we will maintain masks until we can confirm everyone present has been screened.

What happens if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the district?

If there is a confirmed case our school will close.  We will alert the county health department. With our cooperation, the local department of health will complete the contact tracing. We will use their guidance as the minimum of what cleaning and safety actions can be done to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

If my child gets sick or is quarantined, what happens with his school work?

Just like being sick at any other time, the school and family will communicate to make sure that your student has everything they need to keep up. 

How many children will be in a classroom?

New York state allows one student for every 20 square feet of classroom space. Most of our classrooms are 660 square feet. Despite this allowance, we are only putting 12 desks in an ordinary classroom. 

Top of page

Hybrid

I have children in two different buildings. Can they be on the same rotation for learning?

Yes, we will do all we can to accommodate specific scheduling requests.

And how does Friday remote work?

Fridays are a day of instruction and will vary by grade and subject. Due to NYS regulations, we must have an attendance check-in.

Do they bring their Chromebooks home for that?

Bringing Chromebooks home varies by building. Our 6-12 students will have the opportunity to bring devices home on their remote days but must remember to bring back to school on their next in-person day.

Are they logging on for certain instructional time?

Yes, students on the remote days will have a daily attendance check-in, as well as on-demand work to complete. Depending on the grade or subject, teachers will be hosting Google Meets or office hours.

Will teachers have times this year where they will be online and see the kids? 

Yes, absolutely.

What is the reason behind the idea of having no school in session on Fridays?

The Friday 100% remote learning day provides faculty and staff with prep and professional learning time.  It is time for students to complete work and get support.  It also allows for additional cleaning.

Top of page

Virtual

What types of courses are offered in the Virtual Academy?

Courses offered will make sure each student receives what is required for that grade level and stays in line for graduation credit. Specialized, advanced, Honors, and college courses may not be available.

Who can be enrolled in the Virtual Academy?

Students who are medically advised to avoid school during the pandemic, as well as families who are not comfortable yet with returning to school. As well, all new registrations as of August 24th will be to our Virtual Academy.

Who teaches my elementary child if she is signed up for the Virtual Academy?

One of our own teachers will be teaching.

Who teaches my middle or high school child if she is signed up for the Virtual Academy?

Mainly our own teachers. There may be instances where the course is through an online learning platform.

When will we know who is teaching my student?

We will finalize all student assignments by August 28th.

What does a typical day or week look like a Virtual Academy student? Are they just staring at a teacher on a screen all day?

A typical school day will include but not be limited to short teacher videos introducing and explaining the lesson and directions, organized and easy to access instruction that can be completed in a more flexible manner, daily Google Meets, opportunities for offline work (time in the text, writing, independent practice) and virtual office hours for more personalized support.

What if my student is having a hard time with the academic work, in the Virtual Academy, is there help?

Our Virtual Academy teachers will be available at predetermined times during the week to offer student support.

Can I switch to the Virtual Academy after the start of the school year? Can I switch back to in-person?

Families may opt their child(ren) into Virtual Academy should the in-person environment not meet the learner’s preferences. Once in Virtual Academy, a student remains in this setting through the first semester which is the end of January.  

If my student only does one semester and then comes back to in-person, will he have the same teacher?

Not necessarily. The district will re-evaluate the program in January and communicate options to families for the Spring semester.

As a Virtual Academy Student, can my child still get school pictures, join clubs, and play sports?

Yes for school pictures and should clubs and sports become available to our in-person students, yes, virtual students will have the option to participate. District transportation will not be provided.

Top of page

Special Education

My student has a 504/IEP/support services like speech, will that be honored in the Virtual Academy or the hybrid model?

All related services will be provided to students whether in the Virtual Academy or the hybrid model.  The delivery modality of the services will depend on whether the student is provided instruction virtually or in a combination of virtual and in-person. Virtual – All related services will occur via teletherapy (e.g. Google Meet, worksheets, phone calls, etc.). Hybrid – Related services will be provided in-person and opportunities for combinations of teletherapy and in-person.

My student is in a self-contained classroom, what does school look like for her?

All self-contained classrooms (Soar, Strive, and Success) will attend in-person instruction Monday through Thursday.  Friday will be a remote learning day.

My child has test modifications giving her extra time on tests, will that be honored?

Test modifications and accommodations will be provided to students with a 504/IEP to the greatest extent possible.

Top of page

Social-Emotional Supports

My student is really nervous about coming back. What supports will he have in the classroom or in the building?

It is not uncommon to have feelings of nervousness/anxiety/worry when thinking about the return to school. For Virtual, Hybrid, or In-Person returns, school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and social work associates, and school nurses will be working together as a team with classroom teachers to support all of our students. 

Will the social-emotional supports be offered by counselors or social workers?

Yes, and teachers will have materials for supports to pro-actively engage students and address/identify worries, and teachers will have access to a referral process to request that additional supports connect with a specific child. Teachers will have materials for supports to pro-actively engage students and address/identify worries, and teachers will have access to a referral process to request that additional supports connect with a specific child.

I saw that weekly mental health checks are strongly encouraged. Is the school really prepared to take on that task if every kid decides to take advantage of this?  

Teachers will have materials for supports to proactively engage students and address/identify worries, and teachers will have access to a referral process to request that additional supports connect with a specific child. Where age-appropriate, students themselves can access a check-in form (confidentially) that is sent to a member of the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) team in that school building to notify them there is a need.

My child is usually pretty quiet when it comes to asking for help. How will you know what he needs?

If a parent/guardian is in need of connecting to a member of the SEL team to discuss any concerns, they can notify the child’s teacher and/or call their child’s school to speak with someone, and/or email a request for assistance through the community resources/mental health email address on our website.

Top of page

Daily/Weekly Schedule

Can I drop my child off early like in past years?

Unfortunately, we don’t have the building capacity to hold large groups like that during times with social distancing rules in place. Student drop offs and end-of-day pick up will be at the actual start and end of each day.

How will I get items to my child if he left something home?

Please call ahead. Each building will have a protocol in place for meeting you at the door and getting your items to your child.

What will be the procedure for picking up my student early?

 Procedures will vary by building. Please call ahead and someone will meet you at the door with your student.

What will be the parent pick up procedure?

 Procedures will vary by building. Please call ahead and someone will meet you at the door with your student. See each building webpage for additional information.

Top of page

Cleaning/Health/Safety/Hygiene/Air/Masks

There’s a lot of talk about high-end air filters. Does Hudson Falls use these?

The District is using the highest-rated filter the ventilation system will allow. I many cases those will be Merv-13.

Since our buildings are older, what will we do if the system can’t hold the high-end filters?

We have installed the highest-rated filter the system will allow.

Will outdoor air supply rates (ventilation) be increased in classrooms and other spaces? Who monitors or confirms this?

Outdoor supply rates will be set in conjunction with our architect’s and engineer’s recommendations and are monitored by our HVAC controls program.

Can you explain the masks rules as plainly as possible?

The rules set forth are that everyone should maintain six feet of social distance or wear a mask or have a solid barrier between them. Under any circumstance when distance or barriers are not possible, s/he will wear a mask.

Can my student wear a face shield instead of a mask?

Face shields do not comply with the health and safety rules from the Department of Health. Your student may wear a clear face shield in addition to a mask.

Will bathrooms be cleaned during the day? How about things used all the time like the main office door? How about student desks in the buildings where students are changing classes?

Bathrooms and other high traffic areas will be cleaned on a rotational schedule approximately every half hour.

Top of page

Technology

My family lives in an unserviceable area for the internet. How can we complete our Chromebook work?

Please reach out to our Help Desk at 518-681-4357 or email us at help@hfcsd.org so we can discuss connectivity options.  If a family has Verizon coverage, we are able to provide a mobile hotspot.

Do all students receive Chromebooks?

All students grades 1-12 have a district-assigned device.  Students in UPK and K have shared access to devices in the classroom with individually assigned devices for our virtual students.

For those of us not on Facebook could you set up some type of email alert system?

Yes, we have Schoolmessenger email notifications in place.  Please call our registrar at 518-681-4279 to update your email address.

Top of page

High School

I have a 9th grader. How does it work for her remote days? Do Chromebooks go home? Logging in at specific times? What does instruction look like?
High school students bring their Chromebooks home. This year it will be imperative that students have their Chromebooks both when they are in person, and at home on their remote days. On remote days students will log into a Google Classroom and complete work that is posted to the classroom by their teachers. In the Google Classroom, students will be asked to watch flipped lessons, visit websites, watch videos, and complete assignments. The work will be comparable to what would be completed in person. The classes they have to complete work in will be based on the day of the week in the rotating block schedule (A-D days). For example, if it is an A day and a student is remote, they would complete work for the classes they have on A days only. Students have the entire day to complete the work that is assigned and can log in at any time during the school day to complete the work.

Since BOCES is an everyday thing what are we doing about transportation to BOCES on remote learning days? Can you please explain how a BOCES schedule will work?
BOCES will be based on an every other day rotating schedule. BOCES will call their days, Day 1 and Day 2. Hudson Falls students will go to BOCES on Day 2. Our students will attend BOCES Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays one week, and Tuesdays, Thursdays the following week.

Students in need of transportation will be picked up and dropped off at home if they have to attend BOCES on their remote day. Students will be allowed to drive or parents will be allowed to transport their students to BOCES this year because of COVID. Once BOCES has the process in place for students to drive we will inform students and families.

How will ECCA work?
ECCA students will attend their programs every day Monday through Friday in the morning if they are juniors, and in the afternoon if they are seniors. This is the same model that the ECCA program has used since it began. Just like BOCES, students in the ECCA program will be allowed to drive or be dropped off. Students on their remote days will be transported to and from their homes if needed.

I am a high school senior, and I am trying to decide my best option for school in the fall, and. I am wondering if the open campus will still be offered this year?
Open Campus will be available to seniors this year. In addition, students 9-11 who do not have a class Block 1 or Block 4, will be allowed to come in late or leave early.

How will parent drop-offs & pick-ups work?
Parent drop-offs will not change from past years, except for the entry time. No students will be allowed to enter the building until 7:30 am, no exceptions. Pickups will also be very similar to years past. The only change will be that all students need to leave the building immediately following the end of the school day, with no exceptions.

When do we find out which days the kids will be at school so we can plan ahead? What about our daily schedules?
The in-person hybrid schedule will be mailed to families by Friday, September 4th. Students will be broken up into two teams, White and Green. The White team will be in person on Mondays and Tuesdays. The Green Team will be in-person on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Friday will be a remote day for all students.

Top of page

Middle School

When will I know which hybrid group I’m in?
Hybrid teachers will be mailed home by Friday, September 4th.

What will be the start and end times of school?

AM 

  • Masks must be worn at all times
  • Upon arrival at the MS, students will remain on buses until 7:30 am. 
  • Upon release from busses, 6th Grade students should locate and meet with their Home Base teacher who will then take them to class 
  • Upon release from busses, 7th & 8th Grade students will report directly to their Home Base.
  • Students arriving by car or foot can begin arriving at 7:37 am.

PM

  • Students will be dismissed at 2:18 pm and board their buses.
  • Buses will leave the front circle at approximately 2:25 pm. Cars may not enter the front circle until the busses have exited.

Can I arrange for my carpool families to have the same pairs of days?
Yes, we will do all we can to accommodate specific scheduling requests made by August 28.

What are the kids going to be allowed to do at recess with all the restrictions can they even hang out together outside?
Students will be asked to social distance when outside for recess.

Top of page

Intermediate School

Can you better explain how the teachers will move around from a student’s point of view?
A student will go to his classroom like any other year. A student will go to his classroom like any other year. Rather than the student moving around the building, the staff will move to the students. Half the day will be spent with the traditional classroom teacher and the other half with a specialist teacher- whether art or music or PE or other. Whether with the classroom teacher or the supporting specialist, your student will get what they always do- ELA, math, social studies, science. There will be movement breaks and playgrounds. In short, we aim to make the day as similar as possible to what you’ve always loved about your district.

What will be required of my student on Friday, am I timebound by the school day, even if they are home?
There will be a required attendance check-in during the school day on Friday, yes. Any school work will be on-demand on your time.

Can you tell me a bit about recess and the playgrounds?
We will have recess in a way that is safe for students as staffing allows. The playgrounds will be available for use. Of course, we will have to maintain our masks or social distancing.

Is there going to be some allowance for movement breaks?
Yes, absolutely.

If some classrooms move to another building, can I make sure my family stays together?
As we have our staffing and students set, we don’t foresee a need to move any grades to other buildings.

I would like to know how many children will be in the classroom.
NY allows one student for every 20 square feet of classroom space. Most of our classrooms are 660 square feet. Despite this allowance, we are only putting 12 desks in an ordinary classroom.

Top of page

Primary School

What time can I drop my student off?
Drop off will be as close to 8:45 as possible. Early drop off is not possible while we are under COVID restrictions.

What time can I pick up my student?

Parent pick up will happen in front of the building at the following times:
    • Grade 1-  2:50pm
    • Grade 2-  3:10pm
    • Grade 3-  3:25pm

Can you better explain how the teachers will move around from a student’s point of view?
A student will go to his classroom like any other year. A student will go to his classroom like any other year. Rather than the student moving around the building, the staff will move to the students. Half the day will be spent with the traditional classroom teacher and the other half with a specialist teacher- whether art or music or PE or other. Whether with the classroom teacher or the supporting specialist, your student will get what they always do- ELA, math, social studies, science. There will be movement breaks and playgrounds. In short, we aim to make the day as similar as possible to what you’ve always loved about your district.

What will be required of my student on Friday, am I timebound by the school day, even if they are home?
There will be a required attendance check-in during the school day on Friday, yes. Any school work will be on-demand on your time.

Can you tell me a bit about recess and the playgrounds?
We will have recess in a way that is safe for students as staffing allows. The playgrounds will be available for use. Of course, we will have to maintain our masks or social distancing.

Is there going to be some allowance for movement breaks?
Yes, absolutely.

If some classrooms move to another building, can I make sure my family stays together?
As we have our staffing and students set, we don’t foresee a need to move any grades to other buildings.

I would like to know how many children will be in the classroom.
NY allows one student for every 20 square feet of classroom space. Most of our classrooms are 660 square feet. Despite this allowance, we are only putting 12 desks in an ordinary classroom.

Top of page

Kindergarten Center

When will I know who my child’s teacher is and what supplies I’ll need?
We will send out student/teacher placements in the first week of September. A suggested list of supplies will go out then as well, but like other years, the school will supply any required supplies for you.

What will be the start and end times of school?

Students are allowed in the building beginning at 8:45 am. The late bell rings at 9:10 am as usual. Parent Pickup begins at 2:45 pm at the doors outside the cafeteria.  Bus dismissal follows shortly afterward.

Can you better explain how the teachers will move around from a student’s point of view?
A student will go to his classroom like any other year. Rather than the student moving around the building, the staff will move to the students. Half the day will be spent with the traditional classroom teacher and the other half with a specialist teacher- whether art or music or PE or other. Whether with the classroom teacher or the supporting specialist, your student will get what they always do- ELA, math, social studies, science. There will be movement breaks and playgrounds. In short, we aim to make the day as similar as possible to what you’ve always loved about your district.

What will be required of my student on Friday, am I timebound by the school day, even if they are home?
There will be a required attendance check-in during the school day on Friday, yes. Any school work will be on-demand on your time.

Can you tell me a bit about recess and the playgrounds?
We will have recess in a way that is safe for students as staffing allows. The playgrounds will be available for use. Of course, we will have to maintain our masks or social distancing.

Is there going to be some allowance for movement breaks?
Yes, absolutely.

If some classrooms move to another building, can I make sure my family stays together?
As we have our staffing and students set, we don’t foresee a need to move any grades to other buildings.

I would like to know how many children will be in the classroom.
NY allows one student for every 20 square feet of classroom space. Most of our classrooms are 660 square feet. Despite this allowance, we are only putting 12 desks in an ordinary classroom.

Top of page

Athletics

How will gym classes be structured?

Physical education will be done 100% virtually this year. For example, students in grades 6-12 will be submitting logs of their exercise each week.

What’s happening with fall sports?

The governor said on August 24th that high-risk sports like football and volleyball can start practice only on September 21st. Competition dates will be decided at a later date. Low-risk sports, like cross country, soccer, tennis, and swimming, will start practice on September 21st with competitions tentatively starting a week later.

Top of page