DCS Reopening FAQs

The following are frequently asked questions and answers about the reopening of our schools. If you would like to ask a question about reopening and the 2020-21 school year, or about the district’s Reopening Plan, please complete this form, which goes directly to Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Niedermeier. 

Communication with our families

Q: How will parents be notified if the school needs to shift to fully remote learning?
A: DCS will use its existing communication channels – including the website, One Call Now school messaging system, email, superintendent’s virtual forums, in-person and virtual meetings, SNN messaging system and Board of Education meetings as appropriate – as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic. For more info, visit the communications section of the reopening plan.

Q: How will parents be notified of their child/ren’s class schedules?
A: Information will be sent to parents by mail as in past years.

Q: Will I be notified if there is a suspected or confirmed COVID case, or quarantine, within the school community?
A: In the event that a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic, notification to potentially exposed individuals will occur pursuant to the state’s contact tracing protocols as implemented by the county health department. Notification to the wider community will occur only under the direction of local health officials.

Q: How will I communicate with my child/ren’s teachers during remote learning?
A: Communication will primarily occur via email and Google Docs. In addition, some staff will work as liaisons between remote learners and teachers.

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about the district’s reopening plan or health and safety protocols?
A: The district’s COVID-19 Coordinator is Superintendent Dr. James Niedermeier. Parents/guardians can contact him at jniedermeier@duanesburg.org, or (518) 895-2279, ext. 241.

Health & Safety

Q. Are masks required?
A: Yes. Masks will be required for students in grades 2-12 and staff at all times. Students in grades K-1 are encouraged to wear masks at all times, but are only required to do so when unable to socially distance. For more information, please see the face coverings section of our plan.

Q. What is an acceptable face covering?
A: Cloth face masks that cover both the nose and mouth that include, but are not limited to, homemade sewn masks, school-provided masks, and “quick cut” masks, are acceptable. Surgical masks are also acceptable. More information about masks and mask care can be found at the Centers for Disease Control website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html.

Q. Will masks be provided to students and staff?
A: Yes, staff and students will be provided with masks and necessary PPE. Two cloth masks, hand sanitizer, and other necessary personal protective equipment will be provided at no cost to students. Disposable gloves and masks will also be provided should the need arise on buses or in schools.

Q. Can face shields be used in place of masks?
A: Face shields may be used by some school staff, but they are to be worn in addition to face masks, not in place of them.

Q. What happens if a student refuses to wear a mask?
A: Just as any other instance in which a student refuses to follow school rules, teachers and other staff will work toward compliance with the student. Students unwilling to comply with social distancing or mask-wearing measures will be unable to attend school in person because of the risk this behavior may pose to others.

Q. What are parents required to do to screen children’s health before school each day?
A: Parents/guardians will be responsible for checking each child’s health before school each day. If a child presents with any of the following, they should be kept home from school:
– Temperature above 100.0 degrees F
– Cough
– Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
– Chills (with or without repeated shaking)
– Muscle pain
– Headache
– Sore throat
– New loss of taste or smell
Please note that this screening is in addition to other conditions that should preclude students from attending school (e.g., pink eye, vomiting) or any situation in which a child appears not to be well enough to participate in the activities of the school day.
All students will be required to submit a four question self-screening questionnaire through an online web application and maintained by Capital Region BOCES each morning before coming to school. This application can be found at https://entry.neric.org/dcs.
Any students who exhibit any of the symptoms of COVID-19, have been with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been in areas designated as COVID-19 hotspots should stay home, notify the school nurse, and quarantine until documentation has been provided showing evidence of a negative test.

School nurse contact information

  • Duanesburg Elementary School Nurse Amber Lounsbury, (518) 895-3000 ext. 229
  • Duanesburg Jr./Sr. High School Nurse Stephanie Yauchler, Phone: (518) 895-3000 ext. 240

Q: How is the health of staff being screened?
A: All district staff members are required to perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving at work. If personnel are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they will notify their supervisor as per the district’s reporting policies and seek medical attention. All staff members will be required to submit a four question self-screening questionnaire through an online web application and maintained by Capital Region BOCES each morning before coming to school. This application can be found at https://entry.neric.org/dcs.
Any staff members who exhibit any of the symptoms of COVID-19, have been with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been in areas designated as COVID-19 hotspots should stay home, notify covidhotline@duanesburg.org, and quarantine until documentation has been provided showing evidence of a negative test.

Q. What happens if a student’s health screening has not been submitted? Will they be permitted to enter the building or ride buses?
A: Yes. Parents of children who have not completed the attestation will be called; if unable to reach parents, students will be screened in nurses’s offices. Students who must be screened at school will have temperatures checked in an efficient and  confidential manner by a school nurse or another trained staff member, who will wear PPE in accordance with CDC guidelines. Temperatures will be taken with contactless thermometers, which will be cleaned between uses. Students in queue will wait outside the nurse’s office in a queue with six feet of space between each person.

Q: What do I do if my child is showing COVID-19 symptoms?
A: Parents are encouraged to contact the child’s doctor if their child is showing symptoms of COVID-19. Your child should not attend school if they are displaying these symptoms.

Q: If my child exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, how long will they need to be out of school?
A: The district has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with the local health department(s), about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screened positive for COVID-19 symptoms can return to the in-person learning environment at school. This protocol includes:
1. Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation or
2. Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result and
3. Symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation
The district will refer to DOH’s “Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure” regarding protocols and policies for faculty and staff seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the faculty or staff member had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19.
The district requires that individuals who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus complete quarantine and have not developed symptoms before returning to in-person learning. The discharge of an individual from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.

Q: What should my child do if they feel sick during the school day? Will I be notified?
A: If a student feels sick during the school day, they will report to the nurse’s office for evaluation and potentially be directed to a supervised isolation area prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home. For more information, visit https://www.duanesburg.org/duanesburg-csd-reopening-plan-for-2021/health-safety/#managementofillpersons.

Q. What is the protocol if there is a positive or suspected case of COVID-19 in the school?
A: The district will notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual within school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff and visitors of any of our schools.
To assist the local health department with tracing the transmission of COVID-19, the district has a plan to trace all contacts of exposed individuals in accordance with protocols, training and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program.
Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. School staff will not try to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the local health department.

Q: What should I do if I have traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days?
A: Executive Order 205 requires all travelers coming from states with significant rates of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of their last contact with that state. The list of states that meet the criteria for required quarantine can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.

Q: My child or a member of my family is considered to be high-risk for COVID-19. What are my options?
A: We recognize that some students and staff members are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, live with a person who is at an increased risk, or simply do not feel comfortable returning to an in-person educational environment. It is our goal that these individuals are able to safely participate in educational activities.
Parents of children that are more at risk of COVID-19 should speak with their child’s doctor and/or medical professional(s) to determine the best academic and service options for their child and communicate with their child’s school principal. Staff should contact human resources or the assistant superintendent if they have conditions that put them at an increased risk of COVID-19. Students who have family members who are in high-risk groups may also need to attend school remotely.
If a child is unable to return to in-person instruction this fall, remote academic instruction and related services will be provided to meet the individualized education program (IEP) and/or instructional program to the greatest extent possible

Q: Will testing for COVID-19 be conducted at school?
A: In most cases, no; however, in the event that testing will need to be conducted at the school, the district will work with the county health department to support implementation.

Q: Will schools be conducting contact tracing if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19?
A: The district will assist in contact tracing protocols as implemented by the local health department.

Q: What are the district’s plans for cleaning and disinfecting school buildings?
A: The district will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and DOH. Regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities will occur, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed. (For details about cleaning and disinfection protocols, visit https://www.duanesburg.org/duanesburg-csd-reopening-plan-for-2021/health-safety/#cleaninganddisinfecting.)

Q: Will fire drills and lockdown drills still be conducted? What will be the process for maintaining social distancing?
A: Schools must continue to conduct mandatory fire and lockdown drills according to the existing statutory schedule. Drills will be announced in advance and conducted in a manner that maintains social distancing at exits and gathering points outside the building, while still preparing students to respond in emergencies.

Facilities

Q. Will outside visitors be permitted into school buildings? Will outside groups still be able to use school facilities?
A: Outside visitors or volunteers will be limited and must complete necessary health screening before being allowed in a district building. Parents/guardians will report to the front office and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child. Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings. Visitors must follow all safety protocols. Use of facilities by outside organizations is not currently permitted.

Q: Will there be plexiglass barriers at any school building locations?
A: Plexiglass barriers will be used in kindergarten, UPK, and in office areas.

Q. What is the school district doing about getting clean airflow into classrooms?
A: Upon reopening, the district plans to increase ventilation with outdoor air to the greatest extent possible (e.g., opening windows and doors) while maintaining health and safety protocols, particularly for younger students.To read more about ventilation, visit: https://www.duanesburg.org/duanesburg-csd-reopening-plan-for-2021/health-safety/.

Q. How big will the class sizes be for in-person instruction?
A: Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart. In our school buildings, this is about 15 desks per classrooms, with some exceptions.

Q: How will desks be arranged in the classrooms? Will students be facing each other or facing forward?
A: Desks will be arranged in classrooms to ensure that students are positioned no less than six feet apart while seated. Desks will face the same direction. Read more in the plan at https://www.duanesburg.org/duanesburg-csd-reopening-plan-for-2021/teaching-and-learning/.

Q: Will restroom capacity be limited?
A: Restroom capacity will be reduced to provide for proper social distancing. School personnel will be utilized to monitor restroom areas throughout the day to ensure compliance with social distancing protocols. Distance stickers will be placed on walls or floors to demonstrate appropriate social distance while waiting in queues.

Q: Will students still use cubbies? Lockers?
A:Students will be supplied with individual plastic bins at their work area in the classroom. Cubbies and lockers will not be used.

Q: How is the district ensuring that any changes to its facilities are in compliance with fire code and other regulations?
A: All spaces to be occupied by school students and staff must meet the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the State Energy Conservation Code. The district will work with Capital Region BOCES Health, Safety and Risk Management to ensure compliance with these codes.

Q: Will students and staff have access to hand sanitizer?
A: Hand sanitizer will be available throughout each school building. If soap and water are not available, students and staff should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer should be rubbed on the hands until it is completely absorbed. DO NOT dry hands if sanitizer is used. Parents may opt their child out of using alcohol-based hand sanitizer while at school. To do so, please send a written notice to your child’s school, per the State Education Department (http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/documents/handwashing-recommendations-alcohol-based-hand-sanitizer-use-in-schools.pdf).

Q: Will students and staff have access to water fountains? How will water fountains be cleaned?
A: The district will ensure that students and staff have access to drinking water during the school day. Drinking fountain spouts will not be used. Drinking fountain bottle fillers will be accessible and will be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Child Nutrition

Q. Will lunches need to be brought to school every day? Or will they be provided? Will hot meals still be available?
A: School meals will continue to be available to all students, including those attending school in-person and those learning remotely. Students may also bring lunches from home and meals will be eaten in classrooms. Cafeterias and other congregate spaces will not be used. In addition, students will not have access to microwaves or vending machines. Students will be encouraged to perform hand hygiene before and after meals. The sharing of food/beverages will be discouraged, and food allergies will be addressed to protect the health of all students.

Q: Where will students eat breakfast and lunch, and how will they order meals?
A: All students will sign up for breakfast and lunch in the morning with their first teacher and meals will be catered to them in their classrooms. Cafeterias and other congregate spaces will not be used. Instead, students will eat in classrooms.

Q: How will students pay for their meals?
A: We strongly encourage all parents to utilize the MySchoolBucks program to keep cash transactions to a minimum. Any cash used for meal purchases must be in exact change and in an envelope labeled with the student’s name. There will be no fee charged to add funds to a student’s account.

Q: What hygiene practices will keep students safe during meals?
A: Students will be required to perform hand hygiene before and after eating. Students do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating as long as they are appropriately socially distanced.

Q: Will meals be provided to those participating in remote learning?
A: Families who are in need of healthy breakfasts and lunches for their students during school closure or during voluntary remote learning, including those receiving free and reduced price meals and those experiencing food hardship, may sign up to pick up meals at the high school on Mondays and Wednesdays. To take part, contact Mary Jewell, food services director, at (518) 895-3000, ext. 228.

Q. Will bus transportation still be provided? Are there any changes to who can ride the bus to and from school?
A: All students are entitled to transportation by their home district to the extent required by law. Transportation departments do not have the ability or the right to deny transportation for children who are in foster care, homeless or attend private or charter schools. Parents who may have missed the deadline to request out-of-district transportation due to a reasonable excuse may file a 310 appeal with the Commissioner of Education.

Q. Will social distancing be enforced on buses?
A: Students, drivers and staff should maintain appropriate social distancing to the extent practicable on the school bus. Members of the same household may be seated within six feet of each other. To reduce density on buses, parents are encouraged to drive their child/ren to school.

Q. Will masks be required on the bus?
A: Students, drivers and staff must wear acceptable face coverings at all times on school transportation (e.g., entering, exiting, and seated). Students who are medically able will wear a face covering at all times while on the bus. If your child is picked up at a stop with other students, masks should be worn and social distance should be maintained as much as possible.  If your child is medically unable to wear a mask, please contact the Transportation Director. Additional space will need to be allotted to you child to maintain separation for other students.

Q. Will students’ temperatures be checked before entering the bus?
A:  Students’ temperatures will not be checked before boarding buses. Parents are responsible for filling out an online self-screening questionnaire each morning prior to their child’s arrival at the bus stop. All students and staff members will be required to submit the questionnaire through an online web application each morning before coming to school. This application can be found at: https://entry.neric.org/dcs.

Q. How many students will be in each seat?
A: Students must sit one to a seat unless they are members of the same household.

Q. What will be the bus schedule?
A: Transportation schedules will be communicated to parents before the start of school. Parents with questions or concerns about their child’s bus schedule may contact Dan McConnelee, Transportation Director, at dmcconnelee@duanesburg.org or (518) 895-8310.

Q. What about alternate bus stop requests?
A: Alternate transportation requests (i.e. Bus note to friends house) will not be allowed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Seating is limited and assigned so will not be able to facilitate extra students on a day-to-day basis.

Q. Can I drop off my child(ren) in the morning, but use the bus after school?
A:  Parents and legal guardians are encouraged to drop off or walk students to school to reduce density on buses. If your child only needs one-way transportation to or from school, please contact Dan McConnelee, Transportation Director, at dmcconnelee@duanesburg.org or (518) 895-8310 with that information.

Q. Can my child be dropped off or picked up at different locations during the week?
A: This may be possible in certain cases. Please contact Dan McConnelee, Transportation Director, at dmcconnelee@duanesburg.org or (518) 895-8310.

Q. What is the schedule for cleaning the buses?
A: All buses that are used every day by districts and contract carriers will be cleaned/ disinfected at the end of the a.m. and p.m. shifts upon returning to the transportation facility. High-contact spots also will be wiped down between each bus run.  If we have a case of COVID-19 in the district, any bus that that person has recently ridden will be pulled out of service until it has been cleaned, disinfected, and cleared to return to service in consultation with the Department of Health.

Q: Will hand sanitizer be available on the bus?
A: School buses will not be equipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition and potential liability to the carrier or district. School bus drivers, monitors and attendants must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses.

Q: How will social distancing be enforced when students are getting on and off the bus at school?
A: Students embarking and disembarking buses will be required to remain socially distant to the extent possible and wear a face covering.

Social-Emotional Well-Being

Q: What supports are available for my child’s mental health needs?
A: The social emotional well-being of students and staff is a priority for the district, especially during the pandemic. To support our school community and ensure students’ social emotional learning, the district has made available resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral and emotional needs of students, faculty and staff for when school reopens for in-person instruction.
The district has established an advisory committee that involves shared decision-making and is comprised of parents, students, school building and district leaders, teachers, certified school counselors, and other pupil personnel service providers. The committee updates the comprehensive developmental school counseling program plan, which has been reviewed and updated to meet current needs.
The district will address professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on how to talk with and support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as provide support for developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff.
School staff will participate in Emotional First Aid training and other workshops focusing on the mental health and wellness of students. In addition, school opening for students will be focused on ensuring a positive transition back into the school environment and will be sharing information with them about what school will be like when they return to campus.

Q: What is the district doing to support the mental health of its staff?
A: The district provides resources and referrals to address the mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of faculty and staff.

School Schedules

Q. When will know school schedules and my student’s daily schedule?
A: Our principals are communicating with all parents/guardians about their children’s schedules through letters and back-to-school messages. Individual student schedules with both classroom numbers and Google Meet links are being sent home in August.

Q: Will elementary students have recess?
A: Recess is an important part of the school day and will still take place, though in smaller groups than in the past and with practical distancing and hygiene considerations. Students need not wear masks during recess. Playground equipment will be cleaned per CDC guidance.

Q: Will students still have assemblies? Field trips?
A: Pursuant to NYSDOH guidance, schools must ensure that appropriate social distancing is maintained between individuals while in school facilities and on school grounds (inclusive of students, faculty, and staff). Because of these guidelines, assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities will not be held at this time.

Q. Will students stay in the same classroom all day?
A: School day schedules will be designed to minimize the movement of students within the building. To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, so as to reduce their exposure to additional students.

Students in grades UPK-6 will attend school each day in classrooms of up to 15 students, and students will remain with their cohort groups. They will be assigned work spaces within the classrooms, and travel between different parts of the school will be minimized to avoid cross contamination. In addition, students will eat in classrooms. Special classes (art, music, library, and PE) will typically meet in students’ classrooms, though students may travel with special area teachers to other locations which will be cleaned and disinfected between groups using these areas.

Students in 7th and 8th grade will attend school every day and take all core classes and specials. As in the Elementary School, they will be assigned workspace in socially-distanced classrooms, kept in cohort groups of approximately 15 students, and travel will be minimized. In some instances, teachers may be connected to two or more rooms via distance conferencing technology, though we will always have teachers in rooms live with students to provide extra support and supervision.

Students in grades 9-12 will rotate between in-school and remote instruction. When in school, they will be assigned workspace in socially distanced classrooms and stay in cohort groups of approximately 15 students. While travel will be minimized, students may go to other locations for classes. In addition, students will eat in classrooms. In some instances, teachers may be connected to two or more rooms via distance conferencing technology, though we will always have teachers in rooms live with students to provide extra support and supervision. In-person instruction will center primarily on core area classes such as ELA, math, social studies, foreign language, and science. Remote classes will primarily focus on elective areas. 

Q: What about PE, music and band?
A: Physical Education, vocal music, and band instruction require 12 feet of social distance spacing between individuals per NYSDOH guidelines. Because of this, these activities will be modified, but we will offer them in a way that is safe for students and staff. More details will be provided to parents/guardians.

School Activities

Q: Will athletics, clubs or extracurricular activities still be offered?
A: Interscholastic sports have been delayed by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA). When additional guidance on athletic activities becomes available, the district will communicate that information to families.

Q: Will my child be able to travel to other schools to participate in events?
A: The district will not be offering any events or school activities at this time that would involve students traveling to other schools. The only exception to this would be Career and Technical Education or other programs through BOCES, including special education programs/services, that are related to a students instructional program.

Q: Will child care be available?
A: Before-school care will be provided in the Elementary gymnasium beginning at 7:00 a.m. until the school day begins. This program will be staffed and run by the YMCA and will follow all aspects of the district’s reopening plan. Afterschool care will be offered for UPK students in the Elementary gymnasium. This program will be staffed and run by the YMCA and also will follow all aspects of the plan.

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

Q: How will a student be marked “absent,” “present” or “tardy” during remote learning?
A: There will be an expectation for daily attendance of all students. All attendance procedures will be in full effect whether students are in-person or remote. When school is conducted in person, student attendance will be collected by using information entered in the daily screening attestation and will be recorded in eSchoolData, the district’s student information system. During remote instruction, attendance will be recorded using eSchoolData.

Q: Will I be notified if my child has been marked “absent” or “tardy” during remote learning?
A: Student accountability for participation in educational programming is essential, whether in school or at home. Teachers, counselors, the school resource officer, and administrators will be encouraged to reach out to chronically absent or disengaged students to encourage participation and provide accommodations for barriers that may be preventing participation.

Technology and Connectivity

Q: What technology do we need to have at home to participate in remote learning? 
A: In support of remote learning, the district will make computer devices available to students and teachers who need them. The district will continue to provide devices to students 1:1. Because the district will begin 2020-21 with a mix of remote and in-person learning, we will continue with the practice of assigning electronic devices to each student. Distribution of devices will take place on the first day of school.

Q: We do not have internet access at home. Can the school help?
A: Students requiring internet access will also be able to obtain MiFi hotspot devices when they are assigned Chromebooks on the first day of school, and families who do not have access to the internet also will be able pick these devices up at their child’s school.
To accommodate all who need these devices, we will ask families with the ability to get online not request one so there are enough for those who need them.

Q: What do we do if my child’s tablet  breaks or stops working?
A: If a student’s Chromebook or other device breaks or stops working, you should immediately notify your child’s teacher or building principal so that they are aware of the situation and can direct you accordingly.

Teaching and Learning

Q.  How is the district preparing for remote instruction?
A: In the event of a Full School or District Closure: Schoolwide or districtwide closures will be communicated via SNN and OneCall Now. If a school or the district is closed, students should login to their homerooms at the normal school start time to receive additional announcements and review remote instruction schedules.
DCS plans to provide supervision of remote learning, food service, and transportation even during closures. Early in the school year, the district will survey families to determine which families may still require these services in the event of a closure in which buildings are still able to be populated. A list of these families will be created and saved in One Call Now to use for future notifications.
Meals and transportation will be provided to students in these families. The building or buildings closed for in-person instruction will be staffed by available teachers and support staff members. This team will supervise students and provide support for students while they participate in remote instruction. In some cases, teachers may teach remote classes while supervising students in person.
Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term school closures, our district has developed a hybrid/blended learning model and schedule that can continue as is in a fully remote environment. For details, visit https://www.duanesburg.org/duanesburg-csd-reopening-plan-for-2021/teaching-and-learning//#remotehybrid2.

Q. Is remote learning an option for families who do not want to send their child to in-person instruction?
A: Yes. Though we encourage all students who are able to attend in person classes when they are offered, we know that some students may be medically unable to attend school. We also know that some parents may be uncomfortable allowing their children to return to school at this time. Parents who elect to opt their children out of in-person instruction must send a written request to do so to the appropriate building principal (Elementary Principal Andrea Conover, aconover@duanesburg.org; High School Principal Jodi Marvin, jmarvin@duanesburg.org) stating the reason for opting out. This written notification should be submitted at least three days before remote instruction is expected to begin.

Q. If we choose remote learning, do we have to stay with that learning model for the whole year?
A: In order to maintain class continuity, students who opt out of in-person instruction and wish to return to in-person instruction must submit a written request to the appropriate building principal and wait until a marking period demarcation for the change.

Q: What platforms will be used for remote instruction?
A: DCS will be primarily using Google Meet and SeeSaw.

Q: How will students be held accountable for attendance and classwork?
A: There will be an expectation for daily attendance and full participation of all students. All attendance procedures will be in full effect whether students are in-person or remote.

Q: Will remote learning be synchronous (students expected to be online at a specific time) or asynchronous (students completing work on their own schedule)? What will interactions with teachers be like?
A: Remote and in-person learning will be synchronous: they will occur at the same time. At the Elementary School, streaming instruction will be recorded and provided synchronously so that students have the opportunity to interact with their teachers. In addition, substantive feedback will be given on work completed by students. In the High School, the same period schedules will be followed whether instruction is in person or remote, and recordings of instruction will be made available upon request.

Q: Will my child still be able to attend their Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at BOCES?
A: Students will still attend Career and Technical Education or other programs through BOCES. Please see the BOCES reopening plan for more information on how CTE programs will be conducted at https://www.capitalregionboces.org/about-us/reopening-plan/.

Q. How will students’ work be graded or evaluated?
A: In grades K-5, grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content. In grades 6-12, numerical grades will be used both for remote or in-person instruction. Students will be accountable for engaging in lessons and for completing assignments. Students are also reminded that plagiarism and other types of cheating will result in 0’s on assignments. Interim progress reports and report cards, will be posted to the parent portal.

Special Education

Q: How will my child’s IEP be affected by remote learning?
A: The district’s Committee on Special Education (CSE) will develop a communication tool that explains how services might differ in remote or hybrid environments and work with parents to ensure that all student needs are met to the best of the district’s abilities. Special education teachers will monitor the progress of all students on their caseload and will communicate regularly with parents and school administrators. All special education students will be provided with access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology) to meet the unique disability-related needs of students.

Q: Will my child still be transported to off-site programs?
A: Students who receive services at off-site programs will continue to be transported to them.

Q: What do I do if I have questions or need additional support for my special education student?
A: Contact Andrea Conover, Director of Special Education, aconover@duanesburg.org, (518) 895-2580, ext. 221.

Translation of reopening information

Q: How will the district provide translations of reopening information for students and families?
A: The G-Translate feature available on the district website can be used to translate the district’s reopening plan.

Q: How will instruction be provided to students who are English language learners?
A: While Duanesburg Central Schools currently has no English Language Learner students, should an ELL student move into the district, we will seek to employ an ELL-certified teacher and, if necessary, provide the student with Response to Intervention support in language arts.

Staff

Q: Will all instruction be delivered by a certified teacher?
A: All teachers will hold valid and appropriate certificates for teaching assignment, except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s regulations (e.g., incidental teaching) or education law.

Q: Will teachers and principals continue to be evaluated during this time?
A: Yes. All teachers and principals will continue to be evaluated pursuant to the district’s approved APPR plan. Evaluations will focus on elements of the Danielson Framework for Teaching and the Multidimensional Principal Leadership Rubric that align with the unique and challenging educational environment that we will likely experience.